FREEDOM AND SAFETY
New York will be investing nearly $1.5 billion into a variety of renewable energy projects over the next five years. State governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement last Friday alongside former vice president Al Gore. 26 large-scale projects will help get New York to the goal of using 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Most of the projects will represent the solar industry. Nearly 85 percent of the new sustainable energy sources will generate enough power for over 430,000 homes and decrease carbon emissions by 16 million metric tons. Three wind farms and one hydroelectric plant will round out the new projects, adding over 1.3 gigawatts of renewable capacity.
This announcement continues Cuomo’s movement against the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Like Florida, New York is looking to be excluded from an offshore drilling plan that would explore for more fossil fuel sources. This would impact their tourism and fishing industry, which boasts over 320,000 jobs and brings in $11 billion in wages.
"Instead of protecting our waters from another oil spill, like the one that devastated the Gulf, this new federal plan only increases the chances of another disaster taking place," Governor Cuomo said in a press release through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
"This is a total disregard for science, reality, and history, and their actions defy everything we know. We believe the future is a clean energy economy and New York is going to lead a counter-movement to what this administration is doing to the environment and illuminate the path forward."
Projects could break ground as early as next month and all of them are expected to be completed by 2022. They’ll be creating 40,000 green energy jobs with around 3,000 construction and maintenance opportunities. Over $3 billion will ultimately be spent on these renewable sources during their lifespan.
Last month, Cuomo announced that $6 billion was going into offshore wind development, another move that goes against the federal government’s offshore drilling plan. These renewable projects will all significantly boost New York’s goal of getting half its energy generated from sustainable sources.
“Achieving 50 percent of New York's electricity from renewable sources by 2030 is a cornerstone of Governor Cuomo's nation-leading agenda to fight climate change, and I look forward to watching these projects create jobs, expand our clean energy economy and provide New Yorkers with clean, reliable power for decades,” NYSERDA CEO Alicia Barton said in the press release.
Brian Spaen, Writer for Green Matters