Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address laid out plans for green energy projects across the state that will create thousands of jobs and reduce the state’s carbon emissions.
Gavin Donohue, president of Independent Power Producers of New York, says while encouraged, these promises have been made before.
“The success of what the governor has promised over the years and today will be shovels are in the ground and projects are actually being built,” Donohue said. “I think the governor freely admitted that we’re taking way too long to build these initiatives.”
Cuomo says they will be utilizing the private sector by opening a competitive bidding process in order to create an “energy superhighway.” The goal will be to bring renewable energy from Upstate New York to New York City.
“Politicians have talked for 60 years about developing transmission lines to bring clean, low cost renewable energy from upstate and hydro power from Canada to downstate New York,” Cuomo emphasized during his speech. “But it never became a reality. It was too bold, too ambitious, it was too complicated. It was just too much. Well, not anymore.”
Donohue says having private companies involved in the process will ensure that these projects do create New York jobs, use New York resources and more.
“It’s great to have the competitive process, but you need to give folks the ability to actually build these projects and that really is the complicated part,” Donahue said pointing to local siting boards that will need to approve a lot of these projects. “So it’s time to execute with building these projects.”
According to Donohue, the last time a major transmission line was built from upstate to downstate was when the Berlin Wall came down in 1978.