TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
CLOSINGS
Good Evening
NewsRegion/State

Gov. Hochul proposes accelerating the state's green energy push

The electric vehicle charging station installed behind Smithtown

The electric vehicle charging station installed behind Smithtown Town Hall is shown on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The Town of Smithtown will begin imposing a 12 cents per kw/hour fee on the charger, which was initially free. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

New York State’s already aggressive green-energy goals will see a surge of activity under proposals outlined by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday.

Among the plans, Hochul said: "New construction in the state will be zero-emission by 2027, and we will build climate-friendly, electric homes and promote electric cars, trucks and buses."

Citing an "urgent need to do more" to achieve the state’s goals, Hochul's administration is calling for a $500 million state investment to advance the state’s offshore port infrastructure, manufacturing and supply chain, creating 2,000 jobs, according to her plan.

The state already has announced plans for putting more than 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power into the electric grid by 2030, enough to power some 6 million homes; around 4,300 megawatts has already been awarded.

This year, the state will launch a new round of solicitations to account for at least 2,000 megawatts more, Hochul said, enough to power 1.5 million homes. The wind farms are expected to start producing power by the mid- to late 2020s.

"As we build out our wind energy capacity and continue our transition to clean energy, our reliance on fossil fuels must be phased out," she said.

Her plans calls for the state to initiate an offshore wind cable corridor study to consolidate power lines needed to connect upward of 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind to New York City, minimizing impacts on the sea bed and land-based connection points — a point of contention in regions such as eastern Long Island. The state also will revisit its offshore wind master plan to "unlock the next frontier" of offshore wind development.

Hochul’s green-energy plan calls for a doubling of prior goals to install large energy-storage batteries throughout the state to about 6,000 megawatts by 2030 compared with the state’s prior 3,000-megawatt goal. The batteries can help address peak-power constraints and the intermittent nature of solar and wind-energy generators.

Hochul plans to accelerate numerous existing projects to increase adoption of electric vehicles by further incentivizing charging infrastructure, including through federal funding, and simplifying the process of installing the devices across the state. She’s also calling for legislation to mandate the state’s 50,000 school buses to be all electric by 2035, with all new bus purchases to be electric-only by 2027.

The plan also calls for initiatives to make the state a hub for so-called green hydrogen, hailed as an environmentally cleaner gas to power fuel cells and to supplement dirtier natural gas for power plants. Her plan calls for new hydrogen microgrids, innovation funding and demonstration projects.

While utilities such as the Long Island Power Authority have already begun programs to phase out certain smaller fossil-fuel power plants, Hochul’s plan calls for accelerating alternatives to the so-called peaker plants in New York City by giving higher points to future wind-farm proposals that find ways to repurpose the dirtier, older plants while using battery storage to fill in power gaps.

Hochul wants to increase the current state goal of installing about 20,000 all-electric heat pumps per year to upward of 200,000 a year, to reach an installed base of at least 1 million by 2030. She proposes doing it by requiring zero on-site gas emissions for new construction by 2027, funding low-income support for electrified heating and cooling and training a skilled workforce to handle the systems.

The plan calls for another 1 million "electrification-ready" homes that could easily accommodate heat pumps by that time, through new state policies and legislation.

State & Region