- Groups Call on NY to Regularly Fund Large-Scale Renewable Projects

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2014Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc., Contact Lisa Burke 518-436-3749Pace Energy and Climate Center, Contact David Gahl 518-487-1744Environmental Advocates of New York, Contact Travis Proulx 518-462-5526 x238

Groups Call on NY to Regularly Fund Large-Scale Renewable Projects

Albany – The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY), Pace Energy and Climate Center and Environmental Advocates of New York call on New York State to regularly and adequately fund large-scale renewable energy projects. This year’s extremely cold winter, coupled with high natural gas prices, have reinforced the need for further development of energy diversity within New York’s power supply. Regular and ongoing investments in the renewable energy sector will help meet this need, while also delivering substantial economic and environmental benefits to all New Yorkers.

Notably, since 2012, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has issued only one Request for Proposal (RFP) – the application through which developers and investors propose and receive funding for large-scale renewable energy projects – despite a stated goal of at least one solicitation per year. Among other factors, an unpredictable RFP schedule has reduced the number of projects being proposed under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and hindered developers’ ability to bring clean energy projects online due to program uncertainty. To help meet the State’s renewable energy goals, NYSERDA should issue a new RFP for large-scale renewable energy projects this year and conduct more regular RFPs thereafter in order to simplify program administration, stabilize the market, and secure in-state investments that will lead to more overall megawatts of renewable energy resources.

IPPNY’s President & CEO Gavin J. Donohue said that the RPS program must be allowed to operate effectively in order to meet its goals. “New York’s RPS goal of 30 percent of generation in the State coming from renewable resources by 2015 can be better achieved by consistent execution of the program, including a regular schedule for project solicitation and maintaining constant program funding,” Donohue stated. “While renewable projects of all sizes are critical to reaching these goals, attention – and money – should be focused upon the successful program for large-scale renewable energy projects in order for the State to continue to receive the significant environmental and economic benefits they provide.”

“While New York has added a great deal of electricity from renewable energy during the past ten years, we still have a ways to go to reach our goal," said David Gahl, Director of Strategic Engagement at the Pace Energy and Climate Center. “Establishing a more regular schedule to fund large-scale renewable energy projects, and sticking to that schedule, will help get New York back on track."

“If New York is going to meet its climate action goal of reducing carbon pollution 80 percent by the year 2050, then we have to pick up the pace on renewable energy,” said Conor Bambrick, Air and Energy Director for Environmental Advocates of New York. “Restoring stability and predictability to our clean energy programs is the winning plan we need.”

According to NYSERDA’s 2014 RPS Performance Report, nearly 2,000 megawatts of renewable generation have been brought online since the program began in 2005. Approximately $2.7 billion of direct investments in New York are expected over the projected life of the current portfolio of RPS facilities, as measured in jobs, taxes and local payments, in-state purchases and land leases. Progress in the program, which currently is authorized through the end of 2015, can be enhanced by more frequent solicitations and greater program certainty.