New York governor outlines major renewable energy plans

2021 State of the State


During his 2021 State of the State address on January 13, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled a host of initiatives to add renewable energy, build transmission, and boost the clean energy economy.

“Green energy is a pressing moral imperative and a prime economic opportunity,” said Cuomo. He said the green energy program would create 12,400 MW of green energy “to power 6 million homes, directly create more than 50,000 jobs, and spur $29 billion in private investment all across the state.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) highlighted the governor’s 2021 plans in an announcement. According to NYSERDA, the state has already entered public-private partnerships over the past five years to construct 68 new large-scale renewable energy facilities. Those projects total 6.1 GW and are expected to generate more than $12 billion of investment.

To build on that, New York will contract for another 24 large-scale projects this year, bringing the state’s total clean energy build-out to nearly 100 projects. The 23 solar farms and one hydroelectric facility are expected to total 2.2 GW, generate more than $2.9 billion of investment, and create 3,400 jobs.

New York is also embracing offshore wind power. The state plans to contract with Equinor Wind US LLC to develop two new offshore wind farms totaling 2.49 GW. According to NYSERDA, the state has also secured commitments from companies to make wind turbine components and help turn New York into what it called a “global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse.”

To prepare the future workforce, the state is investing $20 million in a new Offshore Wind Training Institute based at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College.

Once the large-scale renewable and offshore wind farms are complete, NYSDERA said it expects more than half of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources, putting the state ahead of schedule to meet its 70% by 2030 clean energy standard.

New York will also continue developing and deploying energy storage technology. To that end, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has begun construction on a 20 MW battery project in northern New York, one of the largest projects in the state’s growing portfolio of almost 1 GW of contracted storage projects. According to NYSERDA, these projects will help meet the electricity demands of 1.2 million New York homes using renewable energy.

Then there’s the need for more transmission. To support the proliferation of renewables and avoid “unnecessary congestion” costs, the state will construct a 250-mile “green energy transmission superhighway” totaling $2 billion. Construction has already started on NYPA’s 86-mile Smart Path project, and construction will soon start on several key projects in other regions.

Furthermore, New York has issued a request for proposals for transmission arteries to bring renewable energy from upstate New York and Canada to New York City. According to NYSERDA, current and planned transmission investments will result in more than 1,000 jobs and $5 billion of public- and private-sector investment.

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