New York finalises US$5bn renewables fund

New York's US$5 billion clean energy fund has been approved.

New York is to invest US$5 billion in clean energy over the next decade under plans outlined yesterday by the state governor Andrew Cuomo.

The New York State Public Service Commission has approved a 10-year clean energy fund to spur investment in solar, wind and other clean energy technologies as the state seeks to meet 50% of its power needs from renewables by 2030.

A statement from Cuomo said the fund would leverage a further US$29 billion of private sector investment.

“We are raising the bar when it comes to increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing harmful carbon emissions,” Cuomo said.

The fund will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and operate across four main areas:

  • Market Development, US$2.7 billion: NYSERDA will undertake a variety of activities to stimulate consumer demand for clean energy alternatives, energy efficiency while helping to build clean energy supply chains to meet that growing customer demand. At least $234.5 million must be invested in initiatives that benefit low-to-moderate income New Yorkers during the first three years of the fund.
  • NY-Sun (US$961 million): Confirmation of the clean energy fund finalises funding for New York’s flagship solar programme, which is aiming to make solar mode affordable in the state.
  • NY Green Bank (US$782 million): The bank’s aim is to leverage private sector investment, expanding the availability of capital for clean energy projects. The fund will increase the NY Green Bank's total investment to US$1 billion and will leverage an estimated US$8 billion in private investment, according to Cuomo.
  • Innovation and Research (US$717 million): The fund will support innovations through research and technology development that will drive clean-tech business growth.

The fund also includes a US$150 million carve-out for the development of new large-scale renewable power projects in 2016. Few further details were given on this, but the commission said it would create new incentives for large-scale renewables as part of the plan for delivering the 50% clean energy standard.

The commission has also ruled that the standard should also include a mechanism for keeping New York’s nuclear reactors running while the state transitions to renewable forms of power generation.

Tags: new york, clean energy, solar