New York launches fifth annual solicitation for large-scale renewables projects


A solar plant from CS Energy. The EPC is currently working on upstate New York’s first utility-scale solar project. Image: CS Energy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said more than 20 large-scale renewables projects will be under construction in the state this year, as he announced its latest clean energy solicitation.

The solicitation, launched by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and representing the state’s largest-land based procurement to date, calls for approximately 4.5 million MWh of renewable electricity per year. Eligible large-scale projects must have started commercial operations later than January 2015 and earlier than November 2023, with winning developers expected to be notified in late 2021.

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A notable provision in the solicitation includes encouraging proposals to cost-effectively pair renewables with energy storage, including a preferential evaluation of storage facilities in primarily fossil-served regions of the state to combat the impacts of pollution that have been disproportionately borne by disadvantaged communities.

The solicitation forms part of New York’s goal of obtaining 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, before reaching a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.

Governor Cuomo said the state is creating new private-public partnerships that can accelerate the development of new clean energy plants. “New York state’s economy faces huge challenges from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis, and renewable energy has a vital role to play in our state’s ongoing convalescence and our economic recovery,” he added.

Among the more than 20 large-scale renewables projects under construction this year includes upstate New York’s first utility-scale solar plant, which is entering the final phase of construction. The 20MW Branscomb Solar park is being developed and constructed by CS Energy and is owned by Goldman Sachs Renewable Power.

With New York now committing to nearly 11GW of solar construction, the state is continuing to make progress on its climate and economic recovery goals, said David Gahl, Solar Energy Industries Association senior director of state policy for the east. “We look forward to keeping the clean energy train running with more solicitations from NYSERDA in the months to come,” he said.

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