Gov. Kathy Hochul has released New York’s sixth competitive solicitation calling for 2,000 MW or more of new large-scale renewable energy projects. The projects will have the capacity to power at least 600,000 New York homes and maintain the predictable pace of state-contracted opportunities for private renewable energy developers. Once selected, the development of these projects is expected to spur nearly $3 billion in clean energy investments and create over 2,000 family-sustaining jobs in the green economy. Bringing more clean energy onto the grid accelerates progress toward achieving New York’s goal to obtain 70% of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2030.
“Renewable energy is the backbone of New York’s sweeping approach to cleaning our electric grid and offers the industry a reliable path to join in our clean energy transition for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” states Gov. Hochul. “The strong public-private partnerships formed to build these projects will allow us not only to drastically lower emissions in our fight against climate change but will result in thousands of new green jobs, billions of dollars in economic growth, and an injection of private investment into local communities.”
New York is contracting with over 120 new large-scale land-based renewable energy facilities including solar farms, onshore wind farms, and hydroelectric facilities – some of which have been paired with energy storage. The projects selected through this solicitation are expected to generate approximately 4.5 million MWh of renewable electricity per year.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) expects to notify the awarded developers in the spring of 2023. Payments under these awards will not commence until projects have obtained all required permits and approvals and become operational to power New York.
“Coming off a historic award group earlier this year, New York is moving ahead with full force as we look to build more large-scale renewable energy projects across the state in our march towards the state’s renewable energy goal and beyond,” says Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “Gov. Hochul is committed to ensuring local communities have a voice in the development of these projects, and NYSERDA looks forward to working with the selected developers and host municipalities to ensure these projects are advanced responsibly and bring forward substantial community and economic benefits.”
Notable provisions in this solicitation include delivering job creation and benefits to disadvantaged communities by favorably evaluating projects that can tangibly advance benefits for these historically underserved communities, and strongly encouraging workforce development commitments and partnerships with labor and trade organizations.
It sets a minimum U.S. iron and steel purchase requirement to encourage the utilization of domestic steel in the construction of solar and wind facilities and requiring developers to provide opportunities for U.S.-based steel suppliers to participate in the renewable energy industry, in keeping with the intent of the New York Buy American Act.
The solicitation requires that workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility be paid the applicable prevailing wage to ensure construction quality and ensure family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers. It encourages and preferentially evaluates developers that commit to utilizing New York State Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs). It also incentivizes proposers to avoid development on the highest-quality agricultural lands and commit to co-utilization measures to support continued agricultural operations as well as funding to support regional agricultural operations.
The solicitation ensures that communities that will host successfully awarded projects are fully involved in the development process, and that proposers demonstrate a commitment to frequent and active community engagement. It continues to encourage proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with energy storage technologies, including preferential evaluation of proposals that site storage facilities in primarily fossil-served regions of the state to combat the acute impacts of pollution that disadvantaged communities have disproportionately borne.
Eligible projects include any large-scale renewable project that can be certified as a Tier 1 renewable technology and entered operation after January 1, 2015. Participating projects not yet in operation must show evidence that they are capable of reaching commercial operation May 2025, with the option to extend to May 2028.
Interested proposers can apply on NYSERDA’s Tier 1 Solicitations webpage. Step One Eligibility Applications are due on November 16, 2022, by 3:00 p.m. ET.
Read more about the solicitation and additional comments by officials here.