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Governor Cuomo Announces New Competitive Program To Retain New York’s Existing Renewable Energy Resources

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a new large-scale renewable energy procurement program, known as Competitive Tier 2, which will retain New York’s existing renewable energy resources, promote lower statewide carbon emissions, and help support the state’s economic recovery by increasing in-state competition and reducing energy costs.

New York City sunset over bicycle path.

Originally published by New York State Governor’s Press Office.

  • Issues Solicitation to Support the State’s Land-based Wind and Hydroelectric Projects Installed Before 2015
  • Promotes Lower Energy Costs, Reduces Statewide Carbon Emissions, and Supports New York’s Economic Recovery
  • Advances Governor Cuomo’s Goal to Obtain 70 Percent of State’s Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2030

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a new large-scale renewable energy procurement program, known as Competitive Tier 2, which will retain New York’s existing renewable energy resources, promote lower statewide carbon emissions, and help support the state’s economic recovery by increasing in-state competition and reducing energy costs. Today’s announcement demonstrates swift progress under the State’s recently expanded Clean Energy Standard and advances Governor Cuomo’s goal to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“With our nation-leading initiatives, New York is taking incredible steps to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our use of renewable energies,” Governor Cuomo said. “Keeping renewable energy in New York expands our economy, giving added momentum to our efforts to build back better and stronger. New York has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and we will continue to be an example of how this fight can be won.”

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the new Competitive Tier 2 renewable energy program will ensure the state’s existing baseline renewable energy generation is retained through three annual solicitations, in parallel with NYSERDA’s other solicitations for new large-scale land-based and offshore wind projects.

In its first Competitive Tier 2 solicitation, issued today, NYSERDA is seeking proposals from existing privately-owned hydropower and land-based wind generators in New York State that entered commercial operation prior to January 1, 2015. NYSERDA’s procurement approach will increase the amount of locally-produced renewable energy under contract with New York State, promote greater in-state competition to help the State achieve the lowest possible cost of renewable energy for New Yorkers, and allow Community Choice Aggregations to continue to voluntarily participate in the market.

NYSERDA will evaluate the competitive proposals based on the lowest price received. Proposals are due on February 24, 2021 by 3:00 P.M. Interested proposers can apply here. NYSERDA expects to announce the awards in the second quarter of 2021.

A webinar will be held on January 26, 2021 at 3:30 P.M. to provide interested proposers with an opportunity to learn more about this solicitation. Those interested in the webinar can sign up here and are encouraged to register and submit questions in advance.

NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Governor Cuomo is ensuring New York is using every tool at its disposal to accelerate our progress towards the State’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals while harnessing the power of clean energy to help build back our economy. This new program will diversify our energy mix and incentivize resources to continue operation and keep their renewable energy here in New York State.”

Independent Power Producers of New York President and CEO Gavin Donohue said, “Preserving our existing renewable energy facilities is imperative to building our green economy and a new energy future. Valuing their economic benefits will provide much needed stability. We applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need to support these resources as a critical baseline as New York’s generator community continues to invest so our state can build back better.”

Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York Anne Reynolds said, “Today’s welcome action by NYSERDA is the latest of many important steps that New York is taking to green the grid. It will continue our drive to 70 percent renewables by supporting existing hydro and wind power plants.  We need to keep the clean power they create in New York just as we invest in new wind and solar projects.”

American Clean Power Association Director of Eastern State Affairs Andrew Gohn said, “Clean energy deployment provides significant economic and environmental benefits to New York communities, but those benefits won’t be fully realized if new deployment merely replaces existing clean energy generation. American Clean Power applauds this wise effort to preserve existing renewable energy resources in New York as an important part of the state’s cohesive effort to boost its economy and combat climate change.”

Senator Kevin Parker, Chair Committee on Energy and Telecommunications said, “As we continue to work towards meeting our ambitious clean energy goals in NYS I applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for launching new initiatives that will ensure we are on track to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Today’s announcement of the State’s new competitive program to retain New York’s existing renewable energy resources through a competitive TIER 2 RECs solicitation process will allow us to access more renewable energy and be in compliance with the regulations set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

Today’s announcement complements the State’s actions to more quickly advance development of large renewable energy projects, markedly decreasing fossil-fuel generation and harmful emissions in the State. In October, the New York State Public Service Commission approved an Order directing NYSERDA to create the competitive Tier 2 program as part of an expansion of the landmark Clean Energy Standard, refocusing New York’s existing regulatory and procurement structure on achieving the goals laid out in the CLCPA.

Through its Competitive Tier 2 solicitations, NYSERDA will contract with awarded generators for the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates. A REC represents the environmental attributes of one megawatt hour of electricity generated from a renewable source. The Competitive Tier 2 program is funded through a new Tier 2 REC obligation required of load serving entities. New York State’s LSEs are required to purchase Tier 2 RECs from NYSERDA each year.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan  

Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality.

It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs in end-use savings.

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