Cuomo’s Green New Deal starts with 1 GW of large-scale solar

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The governor of New York is not playing around. Only days after unveiling his “Justice Agenda”, wherein Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) issued a call to up the state’s renewable energy mandate to from 50% to 70% by 2030 (and 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2040), the New York Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that it has awarded 20 solar, wind and battery storage projects totaling 1,654 MW.

This includes 1,040 MW of solar in sixteen projects spread across the state. The largest three projects will be built by big national developers, namely NextEra, Invenergy and EDF Renewables. Following is the list by capacity:

  • Excelsior Energy Center: Genessee County, 280 MW of solar + 20 MW of energy storage
  • Horseshoe Solar: Livingston County, 180 MW
  • Morris Ridge Solar: Livingston County, 170 MW
  • Mohawk Solar: Montgomery County, 90 MW
  • North light Energy Center: Seneca County, 80 MW
  • Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center:  Schuyler County, 50 MW
  • Silver Lake Solar: Wyoming County, 25 MW
  • Stillwater Solar: Saratoga County, 20 MW
  • Clay Solar: Onandaga County, 20 MW
  • Dog Corners Solar: Cayuga County, 20 MW
  • Manchester solar: Ontario County, 20 MW
  • Hills Solar: Herkimer County, 20 MW
  • Skyline Solar: Oneida County, 20 MW
  • Watkins Road Solar 1: Herkimer County, 20 MW
  • Bakerstand Solar 1:, Cattaraugus County, 20 MW
  • Hannacroix Solar Facility: Greene County: 5 MW

It is notable that NextEra’s Excelsior Energy Center will also include a 20 MW battery component. NextEra is the largest renewable energy developer in the United States, and has also led on the integration of battery storage. This includes building the nation’s largest solar + storage project to date.

In this solicitation NextEra walked off with 360 MW of projects, more than 1/3 of the total solar capacity. Regional developers also caught a fair share of capacity, with SunEast Development awarded five projects totaling 100 MW.

NYSERDA also awarded 614 MW of land-based wind spread across four projects, and two of those integrate energy storage. The agency says that “several” of the renewable energy projects it awarded will break ground this year, and plans for all of them to be online by 2022.

No numbers were given for the prices of specific projects, but NYSERDA does note that the projects awarded today are 14% cheaper than those awarded a year ago, and 23% less expensive than the bids received two year ago.

All told, under Cuomo NYSERDA has awarded 46 renewable energy projects worth more than $2.9 billion to date. Nor does the Cuomo Administration plan to stop there, and in April the agency will issue the next solicitation for large-scale renewable energy.

Maybe we should call him Andy the Builder.