New York unveils $250m RE round

New York state has unleashed its latest large-scale renewables solicitation, which at $250m is the state’s largest such funding round in nearly eight years.

In recent years, the biggest beneficiary of such rounds has typically been the wind sector, with solar now largely supported through other programmes, such as NY-Sun.

The latest $250m funding round is aimed at getting New York past the renewable power target -- 30% by the end of 2015 -- which is mandated by its Renewable Portfolio Standard.

In 2013, 23% of the electricity used by New York consumers came from renewables.

New York is unusual in that it is attempting to meet its RPS goal via a central procurement model, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

New York's last solicitation for large renewables projects was launched in 2013 and was worth just $66m, which supported five wind farms -- including Invenergy's under-construction Marsh Hill project -- in addition to a slew of hydro, anaerobic digestion and fuel-cell projects.

The largest such funding round in state history came in late 2006, which saw $264m invested into 880MW of renewables capacity.

NYSERDA is responsible for meeting New York’s targets for both large-scale and “behind-the-meter” renewable generation.

Several years ago NYSERDA rolled a number of disparate solar programmes into the NY-Sun initiative, and more recently founded the NY Green Bank.

Among US states, New York is the largest generator of hydropower east of the Rocky Mountains, but it has seen steady growth in both wind and solar capacity in recent years, and is taking major steps to transform itself into a clean-energy powerhouse.

SolarCity intends to build a PV module factory in the state, and Japan’s Solar Frontier is considering doing so.