Cuomo announces $26B public-private plan to kickstart 100 green energy projects

The Deepwater Windfarm, 12 miles east off the coast of Montauk Point and 2 miles south of Block Island, R.I. as seen in 2016. Photo Credit: AllislandAerial.com/Kevin P. Coughlin

Governor Andrew Cuomo is employing private partnerships to break ground on $26 billion in renewable energy projects in 2021 that will economically mobilize upstate and downstate, he announcing during the third installment of his State of the State address on Wednesday.

The plan will bring an overhaul where the state harvests its energy from offshore wind farms to solar plants that he believes will put New Yorkers back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic slides into the history books while making communities of color directly impacted by carbon emissions healthier.

“They will be accelerated by a new siting process and create nearly, 11,000 jobs in upstate New York alone,” Cuomo said. “Today we begin development, a massive offshore wind farms. Each more than 90 turbines off the shore of Long Island, they’ll be located more than 20 miles off Jones Beach and located more than 60 miles off Montauk point, respectively. Don’t worry, neither will be visible from the shore. They will provide about 2,500 megawatts. This is the largest production of renewable energy by any state in United States history. The transmission line for the turbines off Jones Beach will connect on land at Oceanside, Long Island, and for the turbines off Montauk, the transmission line will travel 200 miles. Under the Long Island Sound to Astoria, Queens.”

For every one dollar of state funding that will go to new port projects, $3 of private funding is expected to accelerate the growth of this plan meaning a $644 million investment in these facilities off the coast altogether. Up to 17,000 jobs could be created just 30 miles from New York City, which consumes the majority of energy in the state.

While Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Green New Deal proposed cutting fossil fuel power out of the equation by buying energy from Canadian hydro-electric sources, long disputed and renewable due to the negative environmental impacts of damns, Cuomo said it would not be necessary to go that far.

Cuomo criticized the efforts of politicians in recent decades to bring in hydro-electric power from Canada as “too complicated.”

“Much of the available real estate for renewable projects is in upstate New York. Many of the potential wind projects are offshore,” Cuomo said. “While much of the consumer need is in downstate New York for perspective, from Times Square, New York City to Buffalo is 374 miles from Times Square to Binghamton, is 178 miles, and from Times Square to Canada, which possesses low-cost hydro-power is 327 miles. On the other hand, the distance from a wind turbine located in the Atlantic to Times Square is only 30 miles, as the crow flies. However, transmission cable doesn’t follow the path that the crow flies.”

The state will be opening bidding to build a green transmission grid for at least three new projects, one will run 330 miles from the northeast corner of the state to New York City; another through Messina, Marcy and Orange County will carry additional power 70 miles to the city; there will be yet another line from Greene County to the five boroughs, according to Cuomo.

The governor said these projects will provide energy to about 1.2 million homes with renewable energy.