Bill Memo: Renewable Capitol Act

1-Tree: Beneficial rating


This legislation amends the executive law and the public authorities law to require state-owned buildings that run on the Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant to transition to renewable energy sources. A transition plan will be conducted by NYSERDA and NYPA and will include public hearings and an advisory committee that must include representatives of environmental justice organizations and directly impacted groups. The transition plan must be complete by January 31st, 2026.


The Renewable Capitol Act requires that the State Capitol, Empire State Plaza, the State Museum, the Alfred E. Smith Building, the State Education Building, and two state buildings on Sheridan Avenue transition to renewable, zero-emissions energy sources.

Currently, the operations, heating, and cooling of these buildings rely on the Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant. This plant has polluted low-income communities of color including the Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill, and West Hill neighborhoods for over a hundred years through the burning of coal, then oil, then garbage, and now fracked gas. Exposure to pollution from fossil-fuel facilities like the Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant can lead to higher rates of lung and cardiovascular illnesses.

The Climate, Leadership, and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates that New York State run on 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% zero-emissions by 2040. This has been called the most ambitious climate law in the country and was passed in a building that is still running on fossil fuels and negatively impacting public health. This bill gives the State an opportunity to lead by example, comply with the CLCPA, and take a major step towards environmental justice in Sheridan Hollow.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 36