$5 billion fund created to grow New York’s clean energy economy

Last week, Governor Cuomo announced the approval of a $5 billion Clean Energy Fund that will be allocated over the next decade in New York to grow our clean energy economy while addressing climate change and strengthening our state’s resilience. It will finance industry innovation, research, and market development to meet the Governor’s incredible Clean Energy Standard which mandates that 50% of New York’s energy come from renewable sources by 2030 plus a 40% reduction in green house gas emissions.

The fund will advance the solar and wind industries, as well as energy efficiency initiatives and other tech industries to stimulate economic development. The announcement released by the Governor’s office affirms that this action will result in reduced energy costs for residential and commercial consumers starting this year.

The creation of this fund is an incredible boon to the solar industry. Close to a billion dollars of the fund will be directly allocated to stimulate solar in our state, assigning significant resources to NYSERDA & NY-Sun to directly stimulate consumer demand through continued cost reduction.

New Yorkers are projected to save nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years due to the fund’s projects and partnerships. These will focus on renewable energy affordability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mobilizing capital in the private sector. The fund’s creation was approved by the NY Public Service Commission and will attract and leverage as much as $29 billion in additional third-party private financing.

The fund will be allocated into four major areas:

  1. Market Development via NYSERDA $2.7 billion – The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority will use these funds to stimulate consumer demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency. They’ll support the clean energy industry to create supply chains that meet consumer demand. Over $200 million of their portion is required to be invested to benefit low to moderate income residents.
  2. NY-SUN Initiative nearly $1 billion – This re-infuses the state’s initiative that specifically expands deployment of solar capacity. It confirms long-term commitment for growing the solar electric market and industry by ensuring continued cost reduction. This initiative is a crucial factor in making solar affordable and accessible in our state. In addition to their consumer incentive program, the initiative provides training for installers, standardized permitting, consumer education, and overall development. 
  3. NY Green Bank $782 million – This fund is designed to complete the capitalization of the bank through leveraging private sector investment, expanding available capital, and increasing confidence in lending for clean energy projects.
  4. Innovation and Research $717 million – The fund seeks to encourage innovation through research and development to drive clean-tech business growth, job creation, and expanded clean energy choices to consumers.

The announcement of the Clean Energy Fund came along with other advances in the Governor’s Energy Vision Strategy (aka Reforming the Energy Vision, REV). The reforms direct major gas and electric utilities to develop significant energy efficiency programs alongside establishing a framework to benefit-cost analyze new energy proposals to determine if they meet the goals of REV. Further, the Public Service Commission has issued a directive that each investor-owned utility seek to improve their own energy-efficiency programs and offer greater value and cost-saving services to customers.

In addition to supporting the environmental goals of REV, The Clean Energy Fund also dovetails with the state’s new Clean Energy Standard, ensuring that we’ll meet 50% of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030. The Clean Energy Standard is set to reduce the state’s carbon emissions by over 130 million tons. This is estimated to be the equivalent of removing nearly 2 million cars from the road over the next decade. With energy efficiency initiatives, the fund is expected to save 10.6 million megawatts of electricity and 13.4 million MMBtus of fuel consumption.

The creation of the REV, Clean Energy Standard, and Clean Energy Fund strongly establishes New York State at the national forefront for renewable energy policy and addressing climate change. While a few other states are taking on energy policy issues, none have taken the overarching approach NY State has. On this note, the Governor Cuomo has stated, “New York is a national leader in combating climate change and growing the clean energy economy – and today we are taking the next big step forward… We are raising the bar when it comes to increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing harmful carbon emissions, and I am proud that the Empire State is continuing to set the example for the future.”

Clearly this is a windfall for Renovus Solar and the industry as a whole here in New York. We are eager to learn more about how these funds will be allocated and how exactly it will translate into consumer rebates and solar project funding. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates!

Click here to learn more about The Clean Energy Fund on the Governor’s pressroom





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