New York develops 21 new renewable energy projects
The developments will cover the three main areas of renewable energy: solar, wind and energy storage. The expected capacity of these projects will total 1,278MW of power.
Attracting over US$2.5bn in direct investment and generate 2,000 new jobs, the momentum for this expansion stems from the Governor’s ‘Green New Deal’, which is dedicated to providing 70% of New York state’s energy requirement via eco-friendly sources by 2030.
A national leader
With the impetus for change enshrined in law as a Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the state will be pushing for the even more ambitious goal of 100% carbon-neutral energy by 2040.
"New York continues to be a leader in developing large-scale renewable energy projects in a way that brings significant economic benefits and jobs to the state," stated Governor Cuomo.
"With these projects, we will build on our aggressive strategy to combat climate change and lay a foundation for a more sustainable future for all New Yorkers."
The sum of New York’s ambitions could yield 2.5mn MWh of power - enough to power 350,000 average homes and mitigate over 1.3mn metric tonnes of CO2 per annum.
The numerous projects include Bald Moutain Solar (19.99MW) in Greenwich, Cohocton Wind Project (35.8MW) in Cohocton and the North Side Energy Centre (180MW) in Brasher, Massena and Norfolk.
Creating a clean energy future
Although within the top 15 states in terms of renewable energy generation, New York is still noticeably lagging behind the consider outputs of Vermont, Idaho and Washington.
The new renewable ventures have been in part funded by $1bn of awards from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development), an organisation which promotes energy efficiency and the use of eco-friendly alternative power sources.
Commenting on Governor Cuomo’s vision of a clean energy future within the next 20 years, Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA, congratulated his efforts.
"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership and as emphasized in his 2020 State of the State address, New York's steady advancement of large-scale renewable energy projects is helping create a clean energy future faster and more affordable than ever anticipated.”
Similarly, Basil Seggos, Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said, “Governor Cuomo's climate leadership sets the gold standard for state-led action.
“Today's announcement is further proof that New York is leading the nation's efforts to act on climate while protecting our communities and our irreplaceable natural resources and boosting economic development."
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.