New York has made a massive investment in renewable energy. The state is committing $300 million to create the nation’s first offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities.
In addition to three massive offshore wind projects, 22 solar and wind projects across the state are also being funded. Altogether, these projects will generate around 6.5 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power more than 2 million New York homes.
Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, noted it has been a challenge to get to this point.
“In New York, you win a contract from the state and then you continue on your path to get your permit and your interconnection, and that can take four, five, six, seven years. And, unfortunately, what’s happened in those intervening years is we had the COVID pandemic and unprecedented inflation,” Reynolds explained.
Companies developing offshore wind projects have a case before the state’s Public Service Commission to raise their strike prices, the amount they will be paid per megawatt hour of electricity produced. Orsted and Eversource want a 27% increase for the Sunrise Wind project, which would raise their strike-price from around $110 to around $140 per megawatt hour, but the petition was rejected.
This investment will create 8,300 jobs for the state’s renewable energy workforce.
Fred Zalcman, director of the New York State Offshore Wind Alliance, said the state has to ensure the workforce is trained to develop these projects.
“We do need to make sure that New York’s workforce, skilled men and women of labor in the skilled trades, are prepared for this new activity,” Zalcman explained.
A state estimate shows job growth for offshore wind is expected to reach at least 10,000. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority finds that as of December 2021, the state had 165,000 clean-energy jobs, with jobs in energy efficiency leading the pack.
Edwin is a reporter and producer in North Tonawanda, New York. He’s previously reported for the Niagara Gazette and the Ithaca Times. Edwin got an early start in radio interning for WBFO-88.7FM, NPR’s Buffalo affiliate. In 2018, he graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Journalism, and in 2022, graduated from Syracuse University with an M.S. in Communications.