Filtered by author: Sarah Clear Filter

Key Capture Energy Guest Blogs about Importance of Energy Storage in Modernizing NY State's Electric Grid

 

 

 

As New York moves towards 50% clean energy by 2030, energy storage will continue to play an integral role of modernizing the state’s electric grid. The energy landscape in New York is quickly evolving, and New York State is increasingly incorporating storage technologies into the planning of its electric future.

In his 2018 State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to lead the fight against climate change by continuing to pursue greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 through the integration of clean energy. In conjunction with these clean energy goals and to address the challenges with integrating and maximizing the benefits of clean energy resources, Governor Cuomo delivered the largest energy storage target per capita recorded yet by any state. His initiative strives to increase the transmission of clean and renewable energy while overcoming traditional grid infrastructure upgrades. Governor Cuomo pledged to commit $200 million of financing from the Green Bank and at least $60 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to achieve progressive energy storage deployment targets, in furtherance of his plan to achieve a nation-leading target of 1,500 megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2025.

“Energy storage technologies serve a critical role in promoting a clean energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said regarding the energy storage deployment program. “Not only will energy storage technologies relieve pressure on existing transmission and grid infrastructure, they will enhance the development and uptake of renewable energy and create new ‘green’ jobs.”

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NY Is Officially in the Offshore Wind Arena

NY Is Officially in the Offshore Wind Arena

By Joe Martens

After years of study and planning, New York State has made good on Governor Cuomo’s promise to pursue at least 800 MW of offshore wind in 2018 and 2019. Last week, the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a request for proposals for 800 MW or more of offshore wind. The RFP is the culmination of a deliberative process that started with a Blueprint for Offshore Wind published in the fall of 2016, followed by the release in January 2018 of a NYS Offshore Wind Master Plan, followed by a Public Service Commission Order issued in August.  

To its credit, NYSERDA and its sister agencies have engaged stakeholders at every stage of the process and continue to refine the offshore wind program through the formation of four technical working groups covering environment, fisheries, ports and infrastructure, and jobs and supply chain. 

I serve on the Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG), which kicked off a two-day “State of the Science” workshop on wildlife and offshore wind energy development on Long Island this past week. The workshop was attended by well over 100 people, including experts from Europe, where there are now 91 offshore wind farms in operation. The workshop examined current research on the potential impacts to marine mammals, birds, bats, and more. Participants identified data gaps, research needs, and discussed how to prioritize the work that should be done to ensure that the offshore wind industry is developed responsibly with the least amount of environmental impact. 

Next up, NYSERDA is hosting a “Suppliers Forum” in New York City to ensure that information about offshore wind supply chain is broadcast far and wide and offshore wind-related businesses are connected to offshore wind developers in an effort to maximize the amount of New York vendors in this burgeoning industry. NYSERDA estimates that offshore wind development will employ some 5,000 people and generate some $6 billion in economic activity, making this Suppliers Forum very timely.

And finally, later this month, the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management will hold a Renewable Energy Task Force meeting to discuss its proposed Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight.  BOEM is proposing a dramatically reduced area for potential lease, causing concerns about whether it is adequate to ensure robust competition and large enough to meet the offshore wind goals of New York and New Jersey.  Stay tuned for more on this.

31 Groups Urge Gov Cuomo to Double Down on Energy Efficiency

31 Groups Urge Gov Cuomo to Double Down on Energy Efficiency

November 02, 2018 Jackson Morris  Ada Statler 

A coalition of environmental organizations, clean energy advocates, community groups, and building industry companies today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging the state to take swift, bold action to follow through on its nation-leading pledge to accelerate energy efficiency in New York State. This past Earth Day, New York State announced a new, ambitious 2025 energy efficiency target: save 185 trillion British thermal units (tBTU) of energy, helping the state meet its 40 percent emissions reduction climate goal by 2030. The goal also envisions ramping up efficiency deployment so that by 2025, 3 percent of overall electricity demand is met bysavings rather than more power (a level being achieved by only the top efficiency states in the country).

But realizing this bold vision can only be achieved with smart and timely implementation—the state must act now to ensure we’re on track.

The letter’s signatories support energy efficiency as the cornerstone of the state’s clean energy portfolio and the many benefits clean energy provides, including lower utility bills (saving New Yorkers billions!), stable local jobs, a more reliable electric grid, and state-wide reductions in carbon emissions and other harmful pollutants.

As a coalition, we recognize that saving 185 tBTU is a long-term goal that will almost certainly require adjustments along the way. But thanks in part to extensive stakeholder outreach conducted by the Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), we know how to get started. The critical actions outlined below – and included in the coalition’s letter to the Governor – will help ensure the state is on track to meet its 2030 climate goals:

  • Establish clear cost-recovery mechanisms: There’s no denying that additional strategic expenditures are needed for the state’s investor-owned utilities to achieve their part of the state’s energy savings goal. But doing so requires a clear and overarching framework for cost-recovery. Absent that framework, utilities lack the clear signal to do their part.  
  • Ensure energy efficiency equity for all New Yorkers: Efficiency programs must be inclusive of all customers and prioritize investments for efficiency improvements in low-to-moderate-income communities.
  • Prioritize clean heating and cooling: Especially under the all-fuel savings target, scaling up the deployment of highly efficient electric heat pump systems to cut our reliance on oil and gas must be a core part of utilities’ efficiency efforts (in close collaboration with NYSERDA in order to ensure a coordinated statewide approach). As discussed in a recent report commissioned by NRDC, meeting a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2040 is not possible if we continue to heat our buildings with fossil fuels in the coming decades.
  • Establish an advisory body to ensure smart implementation and follow-through: Utilities will need to craft and implement programs designed to meet the state’s efficiency goals. Doing so effectively and in short order will require additional guidance. Setting up a statewide advisory council of experts would help utilities reach their goals while also providing greater transparency to stakeholders.
NRDC is committed to energy efficiency as an essential tool to save customers money, create good, local jobs, strengthen the state’s economy, bolster grid reliability and protect people and the planet. As this letter shows, we are joined by many stakeholders in New York who care deeply about energy efficiency and are closely tracking the progress made toward meeting the state’s bold energy savings target. We remain confident that together, we will meet this goal and cement New York’s position as a clean energy leader — but staying on track and reaping the benefits of a stronger, cleaner New York requires decisive action now.

Getting Renewables Sited in New York

Getting Renewables Sited in New York

By Erin Landy

The rate of permitting for large-scale renewables in New York State has become a major concern for ACE members and a potential roadblock in the path of the State achieving its 50% renewable energy standard by 2030. At the rate that new large-scale renewable projects are being approved, we will be nowhere near our goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. Only one project has been approved thus far, four applications have recently been deemed compliant (complete), and another 33 projects are in the pipeline. It seems inevitable that the Department of Public Service (DPS) will need more staff to process these applications in a workable timeframe.

At this year’s  ACE NY Fall Conference, the Article 10 siting issue was a major theme. Sarah Osgood, Director of Policy Implementation at NYS DPS spoke on one panel and stated, "We need to have a rigorous and comprehensive application and review process but — and this is I think a very big but — the process must work. Hard stop. It must work. It needs to be as frictionless and smooth as possible, and we're moving in that direction, but we clearly have work to do."

The Article 10 process is lengthy, expensive, and unpredictable. ACE NY has a number of recommendations on how the process can be much more efficient: We recommend more predictable and timely completeness reviews, a better stipulations process, the development and use of standardized conditions, and more open and  productive communications between applicants and staff at the various Siting Board agencies, including DPS, DEC, and others.

The good news? DPS has assigned Ms. Osgood to focus on improvement of the process at DPS, and we also hear that some consulting support is now available to help with Article 10 at the NYS agencies. This, and the recent completeness determinations, may be reason for optimism. Still, changing agency culture is tough, and it often appears like the staff encouraging renewables and the staff permitting renewables are from two different States – or planets.

ACE NY will continue to focus on this issue and welcomes ideas or war stories from members companies now engaged in Article 10.   

It's a Wrap! ACE NY Hosts Its Most Successful Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting

It's a Wrap! ACE NY Hosts Its Most Successful Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting

From Policy to Projects: Putting NYers to Work for Clean Energy -- ACE NY’s 12th Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting -- attracted over 200 attendees to the beautifully renovated Albany Capital Center October 9-10, from a broad range of industries, individuals, and media interested in clean energy.

 

Spotlight Speaker, Alicia Barton, President & CEO, NYSERDA, delivering a Clean Energy Update

 

 

Starting with a members-only Board meeting October 9, ACE NY’s growing membership of clean energy developers, nonprofits, and industry organizations used the rest of the day to engage in membership roundtable discussion groups that covered Article 10 issues and improvements, large scale renewables procurement by the state, and legislation on energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. The work-day wrapped up with a late afternoon panel discussion on the NYISO carbon charge proposal featuring panelists Michael Mager from Multiple Intervenors, Frank Murray from NRDC, Kathy Robertson from Exelon, and Chris LaRoe from Brookfield. The interest in the carbon charge panel was obvious, resulting in a standing-room only scenario and discussion lasting longer than the allotted 75 minutes from on-going member questions to the panelists about the topic.

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Harvesting the Sun Creates Challenges for Solar Farms

Harvesting the Sun Creates Challenges for Solar Farms

Anne Reynolds
Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy, New York

This article first appeared in the October 2018 edition of Grassroots, the New York Farm Bureau newspaper.

A mid-September community meeting in New York’s Greene County drew a crowd of more than a hundred local citizens with opinions about a 50 megawatt (50MW) solar facility proposed on active farmland in the town of Coxsackie. Billed as a public forum, the meeting was, in fact, controlled by opponents of the project. Misinformation was rampant and those wishing to speak in support of the project were silenced or shouted down. At the center of this proposal is a 1,200-acre farm site, of which 933 acres have been leased by the developer.

The founder of the local opposition group Saving Greene is a local landowner whose large home overlooks the proposed site. She handed out a map with inked-out areas it claimed to be destined for darkness. The leased site is completely blacked out. Yet the developer plans to use less than 400 acres for the solar arrays. The other two-thirds will remain in active farming or conservation.

Most important, in these difficult financial times for New York’s farmers, the owner says the lease of this portion of his land will allow him to retain ownership of the farm. In addition, the developer offers attractive financial benefits not just to the landowner but to the community as a whole. Developers of the Greene County Solar Facility have offered a $4-6 million payment package to the host community, local governments and school district, with the community to decide how best to use this economic benefit.

   It won’t be long before harvesting
   the sun is a recognized mainstay of
   the farming community.

 


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Earth Day Announcement of New Energy Efficiency Goal

National Energy Efficiency Day - October 5

Earth Day Announcement of New Energy Efficiency Goal

On Earth day of this year, April 20, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced a new energy efficiency (EE) target in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The energy efficiency target, established in the New Efficiency: New York white paper, is 185 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of cumulative annual site energy savings relative to forecasted energy consumption in 2025. This level of energy savings is equivalent to fueling and powering over 1.8 million New York homes by 2025. If achieved, the 2025 Energy Efficiency target will compensate for one-third of the 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2030.
 
How will we reach this goal? Our Suggestions:
We at the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), fully support this target. The challenge we now face is reaching this goal. ACE NY and Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) filed Comments on New Efficiency: New York that detail our suggestions for NYSERDA to include in the Energy Efficiency Order that is to result from the New Efficiency: New York white paper.
 
We suggest a focus on utilities; giving them aggressive goals, strong incentives, and clear guidance on funding. The next step in reaching the Energy Efficiency goal is fully defining the Utility-leveraged portion of Accelerated Actions and providing guidance to utilities on actions they should be implementing to ramp up their EE savings.
 
We urge the Commission to issue an Energy Efficiency framework order focused on the Utility-Leveraged Accelerated Actions by the end of 2018 that allocates a portion of the Energy Efficiency target to each utility and explains how cost recovery will work in the short-term.
 
We request that this Order, while maintaining flexibility for utilities, compel them to apply a methodology to value energy efficiency as a resource and commence regular competitive procurement of energy efficiency. There needs to be a funding mechanism and price signal to invest in and capture the value of EE potential. Directives from the Commission to utilities that increase their EE targets, plus provide clarity regarding cost recovery, will jumpstart EE.
 
Finally the PSC must be bold and timely, because we simply do not have any more time to wait to leverage the sizeable EE opportunity and meet the Governor’s goals for EE, renewable energy, and carbon reductions for 2025.
 

Made in NY? How can we foster voluntary corporate renewable energy buying in New York?

Made in NY? How can we foster voluntary corporate renewable energy buying in New York?

By Anne Reynolds

With the backdrop of United Nations VIPs clogging the streets of Manhattan, ACE NY hosted a breakfast panel discussion on corporate purchasing of renewable energy for Climate Week NYC to a standing-room only crowd. Richard Kauffman, New York’s Chair of Energy and Finance, set the context for the discussion, citing strong progress on renewables procurement by New York, including the draft RFP for offshore wind and reiterating NY’s intention to get this RFP finalized and released by the end of the year. (Exciting!). He also acknowledged the significant workload in getting renewable energy projects through the review and permitting process known as Article 10 and recognized the need to balance proper review with an efficient and timely process. Hopefully, New York will have more progress to report on Article 10 in the coming months.

Mr. Kauffman then outlined a “trial balloon” to get the conversation rolling: If the major barrier to getting renewables bought in NY vs. other states was a higher price for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), what if the state played a role in bringing down the price for voluntary purchases by a competitive auction and a public contribution to help make up the difference? An interesting idea.

Kara Allen of NYSERDA was a gracious moderator and began by asking our panelists to outline the benefits of voluntary renewable energy purchasing.  In response, Harry Singh of Goldman & Sachs cited their corporate sustainability goals, the interest in a possible hedge of energy prices, and the desire to have the procurement be related to their own load, i.e. near their footprint. While Goldman explored a deal in New York, it ultimately went with a wind project in Pennsylvania, mostly due to costs. For Cornell University, panelist Sarah Zemanick also cited sustainability goals, but also mentioned student and faculty demand for clean energy and the desire for a living laboratory – i.e. opportunities for research or education.  In the case of Cornell, there is also an interest in distributed projects that can be located on or near campus and offset their current campus-based fossil fuel electricity generation.

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National Clean Energy Week Ignites Passion for the Planet

National Clean Energy Week Ignites Passion for the Planet

By Kathleen Gasperini

National Clean Energy Week (#CleanEnergyWeek) is taking off as more organizations, brands, and fans are celebrating and embracing the movement to support clean energy solutions that address America’s economic, national security and environmental needs. With its second annual nationally recognized high-profile programming, running from Sept. 24-Sept. 28, National Clean Energy Week provides a time to put clean energy center stage. ACE NY is a proud partner organization of National Clean Energy Week, supporting the movement all week and beyond, including our participation at Climate Week NYC, with a panel discussion on New York and renewable energy. Working alongside other climate leaders from across the world, we’re coming together to present solutions and engage with others on climate change solutions.

In the larger scope, many business and political leaders have disagreed with the Administration’s decision to pull out of the COP21 Paris Climate Accord and have implemented their own goals, arguing that it abdicated American leadership on climate and threatened the country’s competitiveness in a low-carbon economy.

To date, 16 Governor’s, including New York’s Gov. Cuomo, joined forces forming the U.S. Climate Alliance. New York quickly took to a leadership position in the Alliance with Cuomo's progressive 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda.

City mayors from across the country have come together forming the U.S. Climate Mayors group to meet new clean energy goals. More than 2,642 mayors, including NYC’s Mayor de Blasio, CEOs, college presidents, faith organizations, tribal leaders, responded by forming the “We Are Still In” movement that pledges ongoing commitment to the Paris Accord goals. A related group, America’s Pledge, is tracking these commitments and attempting to measure their impact. So far, according to its initial accounting, these sub-national pledgees account for 2.7Gt in emissions. For comparison, U.S. emissions totaled an estimated 6.4Gt estimated in 2017.

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Made in NY: What Will It Take for Corporates to Buy NY Renewables?

Made in NY: What Will It Take for Corporates to Buy NY Renewables?

--ACE NY at Climate Week NYC

Corporate voluntary purchasing of wind and solar power has been so hot in 2018; it seems a new deal is announced weekly. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported a record-breaking 7.2 GW of global renewable energy purchasing so far in 2018, already well above 2017 levels.

But why isn’t it happening in New York?

Buying renewable energy through long-term power purchasing agreements is motivated by corporate sustainability goals, matched by the potential for long-term savings. The RE100 – a growing list of 140 companies striving to offset 100% of their energy needs through these agreements – reflects this marriage of eco-commitments and savings opportunities. And it is the U.S. and Nordic countries where corporate renewables buying is most active.

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ACE NY Excited to be Part of Million Solar Strong New York Coalition

ACE NY Excited to be Part of Million Solar Strong New York Coalition

 

ACE NY is excited to be part of the Million Solar Strong New York Coalition, a diverse mix of industry, environmental, justice and community organizations all united by the vision of a strong clean energy economy that works for all New Yorkers. We are committed to giving everyone a voice in energy decision-making.

Together, we are calling on Governor Cuomo to build a #SolarStrongNY by powering one million New York homes by 2023, which must include serving at least 100,000 low income households with affordable local solar, as well as renters and others who can’t otherwise go solar on their own rooftop.

This kind of bold solar leadership will create good local jobs, help New Yorkers save on utility bills, and reduce harmful emissions, while reducing inequality. Now more than ever, states can and must lead when it comes to climate and clean energy progress. We think that leadership should start right here in New York.

 
To achieve 50% renewable energy, New York is going to need new grid-scale wind and solar power, and continued investment in residential and community renewables, like solar. Both are critical to New York achieving success.
 
One million solar households is a bold but achievable clean energy goal. Visit SolarStrongNY.org to learn more about our policy roadmap for building a stronger, solar-powered New York.
 
On Tuesday, September 18th, join us to Rally for a Million Solar Strong on the Million Dollar Staircase in the NYS Capitol. 
 
What: Rally for a Million Solar Strong & Petition Delivery 
When: Tuesday, September 18th, 12PM
Where: NYS Capitol Building, Million Dollar Staircase
Who: NYS Elected Officials, Solar Industry Representatives, MSS Campaign Members, Home Owners, Home Renters, Housing Developers and Business Owners 
 
RSVPand share on Facebook!

Feds Should Align with NYS on Offshore Wind Areas

Feds Should Align with NYS on Offshore Wind Areas


By Joe Martens

New York State filed extensive comments with the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) late last month and Gov. Cuomo personally called on US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to “play a significant role in the success story.” (read cleantechnica.com story here).

 New York’s comments, which were echoed by NYOWA, urge BOEM to look closely at the extensive data and information submitted by New York State and to adjust the boundaries of the proposed Call Area to more closely align with New York’s “Area for Consideration.”

 “Now is the time for offshore wind,” Gov. Cuomo says in his letter to Secretary Zinke. “In New York, we have a unique opportunity to develop offshore wind and achieve our ambitious clean energy goals. I urge you to support our efforts and help us protect our environment for future generations.”

 The Governor could not have been more emphatic and robust in his support for offshore wind and in expressing the state’s willingness to collaborate with the federal government to make it work.


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2018 American Wind Week

2018 American Wind Week

Posted on August 7, 2018

By Erin Landy

Sunday kicked off the 2nd Annual American Wind Week (August 5-11)! Supporters of wind energy across the U.S. launched American Wind Week last year when wind power became the country’s largest source of renewable energy capacity. Today, that leadership is growing with a record amount of wind power under construction at wind farms across America.

U.S. Wind Leadership

We can keep our lead in wind power because inexhaustible wind energy is a resource the U.S. can always harness. A typical new wind turbine in the U.S. can power the equivalent of more than 750 average homes. U.S. wind turbines are the most productive among countries with the highest levels of installed wind power, like China and Germany. 

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How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

By Anne Reynolds

This Week in New York: How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

The last day of New York’s 2018 legislative session is next Wednesday, June 20th. State lawmakers have less than a week to wrap up their unfinished business, and any bills still stuck in committee when Legislators go home will be tabled until next January.

One bill that legislators should act on as soon as possible is Assembly bill 8248 (or its companion Senate bill 6600). This bill would lift the restrictive, outdated cap on the direct sale of zero-emissions vehicles to New Yorkers, allowing companies like Tesla to expand the adoption of clean transportation across the state.

Why?

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How to Return NY to "Top Three" for Energy Efficiency

How to Return NY to "Top Three" for Energy Efficiency New Year, New Energy

Posted on April 9, 2018

Re-posted from E4TheFuture Blog

By Steve Cowell

New York was once among the top three states–and can be again. Gov. Cuomo has called for ambitious new energy efficiency targets, and New Yorkers are urging the governor to present a statewide EE goal later this month that will help restore New York’s once-held status as a national leader.

Losing Ground: ACEEE Scorecard
Back in 2012, the ACEEE scorecard ranked New York #3 for public and utility programs among all states. By 2017 New York fell to #13. New York’s nose dive was the largest drop of any state for this performance category. See the 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

New York can do so much better on efficiency than it has over the past five years. As stated in the 2016 Synapse Energy Economics report Aiming Higher: Realizing the Full Potential of Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency in New York: The current level of savings “is far below what is possible from a technical and economic standpoint, and also relative to what nearby states are already achieving. Energy efficiency is New York’s most cost-effective resource, and yet the state is at risk of losing out on much of its potential.”

Setting a Strong Target
New York can return to the top 3! Policy influencers and thought leaders are coming together to bring a message to the governor that he should not ignore. In the past few weeks advocates and concerned citizens began ramping up. A Valentine’s Day letter signed by 49 groups requested the Governor to advance “a nation-leading energy efficiency plan that is as ambitious and equitable as possible.” Teach-ins, call-ins and more letters continue to add pressure leading up to Earth Day 2018.




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NY Anti-Wind Bill Could Hurt Clean Energy Economy

NY Anti-Wind Bill Could Hurt Clean Energy Economy

Posted on March 20, 2018

Re-posted from the NRDC Expert Blog

By Sneha Ayyagari and Jackson Morris

The New York State Assembly should reject Assembly Bill A.9053A, which would unfairly prohibit state funding for wind power facilities in six large areas near the Fort Drum military reservation in Jefferson County, New York. This bill is completely unnecessary to protecting national security and guaranteeing the continued vitality of the Fort Drum military base. If passed, A.9053A would hinder progress on clean energy goals, and kill clean energy jobs, without providing any benefits. A group of veterans have submitted a letter urging the Assembly to reject the bill, which is currently in Assembly Committee.

The bill is completely unnecessary

The asserted purpose of A. 9053A is to prevent wind projects from conflicting with military operations at Fort Drum. But there are already robust federal and state procedures to ensure that wind projects are appropriately sited to align with the secure operation and mission readiness at military bases like Fort Drum. The Department of Defense (DoD), through its Siting Clearinghouse, rigorously evaluates the risks of projects. By law, the Department of Defense has the authority to determine whether a project poses a risk to national security, either in isolation or cumulatively with other projects. So far, no wind projects have been built over the objection of the DoD. As the Department of Defense stated to  Congress in 2015, “generic standoff distance are not useful” and “due to the wide variety of missions and variability of impacts on different types of obstructions, it is not possible to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ standoff distance between DOD military readiness activities and development projects.”

NRDC has worked with the DoD to develop the Renewable Energy And Defense Geospatial Database to help developers identify potential conflicts early in the project development process. This is yet another tool that ensures that projects are carefully reviewed on a case-by-case basis to safeguard national security. At the state level, the Article 10siting law provides additional processes for evaluating the impacts of renewable energy projects.

The bill impedes achieving clean energy goals

Especially as the Trump administration continues to try to roll back environmental protections, it is more important than ever that New York State continue to show leadership through its climate policy. This bill could make it difficult to reach targets such as generating 50 percent of electric generation from renewable sources and reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Fostering land-based wind development is a critical component of installing enough renewable energy at the pace needed to realize Governor Cuomo’s clean energy vision. Beyond halting projects near Fort Drum, this bill sends a bad message, and bolsters opponents of renewable energy projects which will negatively impact investment in wind energy in other areas of New York going forward.




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Just for the record...

Just for the record…

Posted on February 26, 2018


By Joe Martens, Director of 
New York Offshore Wind Alliance

Some of you may have seen the recent missive in the New York Post from conservative writer and punditRobert Bryce regarding Gov. Cuomo’s ambitious and smart plans for offshore wind in New York. (Read NYOWA’s statement on that here, but finish reading this blog post first!).

Last week I sent the newspaper a letter to the editor, which I’m guessing they’ve decided not to run. So we’re putting it here on the blog so that Bryce’s comments don’t go unaddressed. Here’s what we sent the Post:

To the editor:

Once again, Robert Bryce ignores the facts about offshore wind (“Cuomo’s latest green-power fiasco” Feb. 2, 2018).  First, he claims that NY’s plan to develop 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 is twice as much capacity as exists in all of Denmark.  He didn’t mention that England has more than 5,000 MW of installed capacity and Europe collectively installed 3,100 MW of offshore wind capacity in 2017 alone.


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49 Groups' (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo

Re-posted from the NRDC Expert Blog

By Sneha Ayyagari and Jackson Morris

This Valentine’s day, NRDC, along with 48 organizations, sent a letter to Governor Cuomo expressing support for energy efficiency and urging him to show his love for clean energy jobs and fighting climate change by adopting a nation-leading energy efficiency plan that is as ambitious and equitable as possible. In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo promised to release a “comprehensive and far reaching energy efficiency initiative by Earth Day, April 22,” including a new 2025 energy efficiency target. The letter signatories, which included environmental organizations, labor organizations, building industry companies and advocates, and environmental justice groups, expressed support for the Governor’s vision and urged him to follow through with aggressive actions to boost energy efficiency in the State.

The coalition  has come together to support this clean energy resource because of its many diverse benefits: lower utility bills, reduced carbon and other harmful pollution; new, local jobs for New Yorkers; and, a more reliable electric grid. Investment in efficiency is cost-effective and furthers the avoidance of expensive grid investments. It is a critical tool in the fight against climate change, improves air quality and public health, and can help address energy affordability. As explained in a previous blog, setting ambitious targets to increase energy efficiency is essential to goals such as reaching 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and closing the Indian Point nuclear plant without increasing carbon emissions.

New York’s utility regulator, the Department of Public Service (DPS), is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to engage utilities, efficiency companies, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to implement the Governor’s plans to develop a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative. Leading up to Earth Day, DPS and NYSERDA have organized two roundtable discussions on February 23rd and March 5th to get input on a range of energy efficiency policies and programs. NRDC has advocated for a strong, comprehensive statewide energy efficiency program, and will be actively engaged in these discussions along with other signatories of the letter to make sure the governor’s initiative realizes the incredible potential New York has to become a leader on energy efficiency.

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New Year, New Energy

New Year, New Energy

By Jeff Jones

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State address featured his Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda, a plan that will keep New York moving forward as a national leader on energy and climate policy. Let’s welcome in the New Year by taking a moment to look broadly – both nationally and in New York - at where the electricity sector stands. 

First, the market: In large parts of the US, it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than new coal, and in some cases cheaper than natural gas. In a recent survey published in Utility Dive, Energy Innovation’s policy expert Sonia Aggarwal reached the conclusion that the industry’s competitive dynamic “completely flipped” in 2017.  Merchant coal plants in Texas and Massachusetts are retiring, unable to compete with natural gas and renewables, she reports, while utilities in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are planning early shutdowns of coal. And in spite of the federal government’s actions to shut down the Clean Power Plan, three-quarters of the states will meet their CPP targets.

Globally, the growth in renewables is adding unexpected amounts of clean power in a world with flat or even declining demand. This power has zero marginal cost and is driving down wholesale prices. Customers win, the environment wins, and investors in renewables win.

Second, the federal government: The Washington Post recently described the new Republican tax law as a “windfall for [the] oil and gas industry”. Fossil fuel interests will reap billions in tax savings, including for capital expenditures. The cut in the corporate tax rate may add 5 percent to the earnings of Exxon Mobil and 23 percent to oil refiners’ earnings. Opening portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration was another victory for big oil after a bitter 20-year fight, as would be reopening offshore waters to oil and gas exploration and development. Indeed, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced the federal government’s intention to open over 90 percent of the National Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration and leasing. By contrast, current policy puts 94 percent of OCS off limits. The Zinke program proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history.

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Slanted GateHouse Media Story Omits Most People's Experience of Life Near Wind Farms

Slanted GateHouse Media story omits most people’s experience of life near wind farms

Re-posted from In to the Wind: The AWEA Blog 

If all you knew about the beach was what you saw in the movie “Jaws,” you’d never go. Yet 58 million Americans a year go to the shore. 

Context matters. And that’s exactly what is lacking in a recent report by GateHouse Media (In the Shadow of Wind Farms) that amplifies the complaints of a small number of the millions of Americans living near wind farms, while downplaying the vast majority who welcome the benefits of a new cash crop for rural America. 

GateHouse appears to have set out to write a negative story about wind energy. First their reporter probed the idea that foreign companies were buying up American cropland. (They aren’t. Farmers keep their land and get lease income.) GateHouse then was fed anecdotal reports by opponents of wind farms online, while declining multiple offers to interview people satisfied with their local wind farm. 

For nearly six months, both AWEA and wind developers responded to pointed questions and offered much-needed context to the GateHouse reporters. When offered positive accounts of wind farms in rural America, however, we were told they wouldn’t be included because the story of positive experiences had already been written.

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