New York has aggressive targets for ramping up the use of clean, renewable energy, and reducing climate pollution that harms our public health and economy. A key component of the state’s plan is a transition to a carbon free electricity grid over the next two decades.
The Clean Energy Standard, an initiative adopted by the Public Service Commission, mandates 50-percent of the electricity consumed in New York State to come from clean, renewable resources by the year 2030. The Governor has proposed accelerating that timeline with a new target of 70-percent renewables by 2030 and 100-percent carbon free electric generation by 2040. Reaching these ambitious targets is going to require robust contributions from the public and private sector.
The state’s regulated electric utilities are well positioned to play a significant role in meeting New York’s renewable targets. A program focused on developing solar, wind, and energy storage projects at the sites of retired power plants, brownfields, and on other properties owned or leased by electric utilities would be a cost-effective way to inject new clean energy onto the grid without interfering with the existing markets for renewables.
This bill directs the Public Service Commission to establish a renewable reclamation project program to encourage the development of wind, solar, hydroelectric, and storage facilities at retired power plants, brownfields, and other strategically located properties. Combination gas and electric corporations and private developers would be eligible to participate in the program provided demonstration of the execution of a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization. This will ensure that projects undertaken pursuant to this act will be subject to negotiated labor standards.