Environmental Groups Applaud Final Regulatory Framework to Accelerate Renewable Energy Growth in New York State

New York League of Conservation Voters
(212) 361-6350, Ext. 206

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2021
Shachar Sharon, ssharon@nylcv.org

Environmental Groups Applaud Final Regulatory Framework to Accelerate Renewable Energy Growth in New York State

Regulatory Framework Will Help to Develop Renewable Energy and Reach Climate Goals

New York, NY – Environmental groups applauded the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting’s release of a final regulatory framework to accelerate renewable energy growth. The regulatory framework will dramatically speed up the development of renewable energy projects while maintaining the State’s strong environmental and public participation standards and help the state reach the goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The finalization of these regulations will help bolster New York’s clean energy economy and the tens of thousands of jobs that come with it.

Required as part of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act which passed less than a year ago, the framework establishes standard permitting and operating conditions for large-scale renewable energy facilities. The process also streamlines the process for developing renewable energy projects and proactively addresses recurring issues in siting and permitting large-scale projects in New York. Under Article 10, the current permitting process for large-scale siting renewable energy, it takes 5-10 years for projects to begin construction. The new process will ensure that New York can achieve its nation-leading goal of 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent clean zero-carbon energy by 2040 as required by the CLCPA.

“We need to develop more renewable energy to solve the climate crisis and our state’s financial crisis. With these newly established rules and operating conditions, we will be able to move through the permitting process more quickly and efficiently, while protecting the environment and ensuring local communities see the economic benefits of these developments. The rapid adoption of these rules shows the State’s commitment to meeting the clean energy goals established in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Thank you to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting for your leadership in creating green jobs and green power,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV). 

Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy stated, “The renewable energy industry welcomed the Legislature’s 2020 passage of permitting reform for wind and solar, and we are impressed that New York’s brand new Office of Renewable Energy Siting is right on time with issuing the new rules and uniform standards for these projects. Solar and wind energy projects bring tax revenue, construction jobs, and pollution-free power. To capture this economic benefit, New York needed a more standardized and efficient permitting process. Our industry looks forward to working with the State to continue to bring this investment to New York.”

Cullen Howe, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council stated, “New York State deserves credit for passing a bill that ensures that we can quickly scale up renewables to meet the ambitious clean energy and carbon reduction goals of the CLCPA. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting also deserves credit for finalizing these regulations so projects can begin moving through this improved permitting process while ensuring that important environmental standards are met.” 

Lisa Dix, Senior New York Campaign Manager for the Sierra Club stated, “We commend the Legislature and Governor for taking bold action to remove barriers to rapidly scaling renewable energy in New York, in time, to meet our ambitious renewable energy mandates. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting has delivered on the needed next steps to bring our climate targets closer to reality, while generating significant economic investments in our communities and creating family supporting jobs for New Yorkers.”  

“We are thrilled about the timely release of these new rules and standards for wind and solar projects by the state’s new Office of Renewable Energy Siting, as well as their receptiveness to stakeholder input,” said Michaela Ciovacco, Program Coordinator at New Yorkers for Clean Power. “Many New Yorkers want renewable power and see the urgency to scale up renewable projects as efficiently as possible. We look forward to working with the Legislature, Governor and ORES on meeting our bold climate goals while ensuring that the voices of New York’s towns and cities are heard.”

Encouraging the growth of the renewable energy process has been a long-time priority for NYLCV. The League advocated for the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act following its report identifying recommendations to reform Article 10. The organization also convened stakeholder roundtables across the state for decision-makers, local government representatives, renewable energy developers, planning groups, and others to identify ways to streamline the siting process and improve engagement with local communities. 

The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fight for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For more information, visit www.nylcv.org.