March 13 (Renewables Now) - New York governor Andrew M Cuomo on Friday awarded contracts to 26 large-scale renewable energy projects totalling 1,383.09 MW, making the largest single investment in renewables by а US state.
In a press statement, Cuomo pledged to provide a USD-1.4-billion (EUR 1.1bn) investment package for the implementation of 22 utility-scale solar schemes with a combined capacity of 646 MW, three wind projects of 733.6 MW in total, one of them with storage capacity, and one hydropower plant (HPP) project of 3.23 MW. The contract awards and funding were announced together with New York’s formal request for an exclusion from the new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Programme under which the government aims to make available over 90% of the US’ total offshore acreage for oil and gas drilling.
"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," Cuomo said as he commented on the government’s oil and gas strategy.
Winning projects were selected following a two-step review process that put under scrutiny 88 proposals by 30 developers, resulting in a weighted average award price for this solicitation is USD 21.71 per MWh of production over the 20-year term of the awarded contracts. The projects, qualified by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), are expected to go live by 2022. Construction on some of the proposed plants will start as early as April.
Most of the selected projects are located in the eastern parts of the state. The largest contracted solar portfolio, comprising five projects of 19.99 MW each, was launched by Granada Solar, while the biggest capacity contracted under a single project is for a 339.78-MW wind park by Invenergy Wind. Among the other developers that were awarded contracts are Cypress Creek Renewables, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), and Hecate Energy.
Construction of those plants will lead to the production 3.2 million MWh of renewable electricity per year, bringing more than USD 3 billion of direct investment over their lifespan. The projects will also help New York reach its goal of producing 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030 and lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 40% by the same year.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.811)