Cuomo Proposes Laws to Velocity up Renewable Siting, Development

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the availability of proposed regulations to implement the Renewable Energy Accelerated Growth Act and the common good.

The draft legislative framework will greatly accelerate the site selection and construction of major renewable energy projects to combat climate change and will help fuel the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The law and resulting regulations will also accelerate progress towards meeting Cuomo’s clean energy and climate goals – including the directive to get 70% of state electricity from renewable sources – as outlined in the Climate Governance and Community Protection Act required by the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are two of the greatest challenges New York has ever faced. We are addressing both issues head on, however, and our climate agenda is rapidly creating good jobs and generating billions in economic investment while making sure we make the most of vulnerable communities having clean air to breathe, “says Cuomo. “These regulations will fuel our growing green economy and reaffirm New York’s position as the ultimate center of the clean energy sector through a revised and rapid process of building and delivering zero-emission electricity.”

As part of the act, New York created the first National Renewable Energy Siting Bureau (ORES), which enhances and streamlines the process for environmentally conscious and cost effective siting of large renewable energy projects across New York while delivering significant benefits to local communities .

For all large projects in the field of renewable energies with an output of more than 25 MW, a permit for the new building or expansion must be obtained via ORES. Projects that are already in the early stages of the current Article 10 siting process by the New York Siting Committee may remain in Article 10 or opt for the new siting process. New projects with a size between 20 and 25 MW can also register.

ORES, in consultation with the New York State Department of Public Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, has developed a number of uniform standards and conditions to avoid or avoid this to minimize to the greatest possible extent possible significant adverse environmental impacts in connection with the location, planning, construction and operation of a large plant for renewable energy. The new on-site procedure provides a one-stop process with increased security and predictability for developing renewable energy projects in the country. The ORES approach proactively addresses the most important recurring problems in the selection and approval of large-scale renewable projects, which effectively jeopardizes the approval process.

The proposed regulations will encourage local governments and municipalities to participate in the approval process by encouraging project applicants to consult with local governments and community members prior to submitting an application, provide public notices on various milestones during the approval process, and provide application documents in both electronic and paper formats . Draft site permits are subject to public scrutiny and commentary, and hearings are required if material and substantive issues are identified. In addition, for each project, local authorities and interveners may have access to funds to help them review the project.

By creating a new siting process specifically for renewable energy plants, the law will accelerate new private investment and job growth in the green economy at a time that New Yorkers need most. As the state seeks solutions to get the economy going again after overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, the resumption of building renewable energy will play a central role in the green economy. The new location process will set uniform standards and conditions that support accelerated project development, create new jobs and at the same time combat climate change.

You can find more information about ORES here.

Photo: New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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