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January 13, 2020

State of the State: 2020 Energy Landscape in New York

Governor Cuomo delivered the 2020 State of the State address on January 8, promising to build on aggressive goals set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that became effective on December 23, 2019.

Key energy- and climate-related points in his address were:

  • New York State is feeling the impact of climate change from events like Superstorm Sandy, rising Lake Ontario levels, and multiple 100-year floods, with 60 percent of counties experiencing significant flooding over the past decade.
  • Ending episodic thinking in response to climate emergencies, choosing instead to “think globally and act locally”
  • Accelerating the state’s transition to renewable energy
  • The NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the NY Power Authority (NYPA) will provide additional incentives to get more renewable projects built––and built faster.
  • Focusing on Upstate NY power opportunities that complement proposed offshore wind projects
  • Building new transmission lines to get power from Upstate NY to consumers downstate, noting that it’s “good economics and good for the environment” 
  • Adding a $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act on the next ballot to fund resiliency programs for the restoration of natural ecosystems
  • Green economics 
  • Electronic vehicle (EV) programs

Further details about proposed initiatives were identified in the follow-up State of the State briefing book, which confirmed Cuomo’s intense push to create a greener New York State. Proposals include:

  • The state will put together a plan to authorize and build a new transmission capacity that will prioritize rights-of-way to assist with the state’s transition to renewable power. Smart technologies, including battery storage, are part of that plan.
  • NYSERDA will make awards to 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy projects across Upstate New York, totaling over 1,000MW of renewable capacity. It will also solicit for additional offshore wind capacity.
  • Creating Green Jobs Tax Credits and Green Investment Tax Credits
  • Creating a four-part EV initiative, including building a network of EV chargers throughout the state, electrifying transit systems, and investing in Green Bank financing to attract EV-sector businesses

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Rick Capozza, Energy Team leader and co-team leader of the Renewable Energy Team, at; Brenda Colella, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair and co-team leader of the Renewable Energy and Energy Markets Teams, at; Mary Volcko, project specialist, at; or another member of the Energy Team.


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