October 27, 2017

Governor Cuomo Announces NY Green Bank to Raise at Least $1 Billion From Private Sector to Accelerate Clean Energy Solutions and Combat Climate Change

Lieutenant Governor Hochul Hosts Summit in Partnership with Climate Jobs NY and The Worker Institute at Cornell

Climate Jobs NY Milestones Include Ongoing Development of Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects, Accelerated Energy Efficiency and Solar, and New Steps on Environmental Justice and Workforce Development

State Releases New Report on Clean Energy Industry Showing Nearly 150,000 Green Jobs Statewide and Detailing Future Growth

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that NY Green Bank seeks to raise at least an additional $1 billion in private sector funds to expand financing availability for clean energy projects. These additional funds to be raised from third-party investors will enable NY Green Bank to deliver even greater environmental and cost benefits to New Yorkers and broaden the scope of investable projects beyond the boundaries of New York State.

"As the federal government turns its back on solutions to climate change while denying reality, New York is doubling down on our efforts to act on the clean energy future," said Governor Cuomo. "This expansion of the New York Green Bank will combat climate change while creating good-paying clean energy jobs across the state, helping to secure a cleaner and greener tomorrow for all New Yorkers."

Because of its robust track record which has resulted in driving nearly $1.4 billion in clean energy investment in New York State, NY Green Bank has seen strong interest from third-party entities like pension funds and insurance companies seeking to utilize it as an investment vehicle for sustainable infrastructure projects. The additional capital raised can be invested in projects across the United States, expanding transaction scale and leverage, increasing the amount of clean energy that will be deployed for every dollar invested.

Extreme weather has become the new normal. We must take action to protect our environment and ensure a more sustainable future through the use of clean energy," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Governor Cuomo's commitment to expand the NY Green Bank, the largest public-private clean energy finance entity of its kind in the nation, will ensure a cleaner, greener and more economically beneficial future for New York and create endless new career paths in clean energy."

NY Green Bank will also work with other states and philanthropic entities to help establish local Green Banks in other states. In support of these new Green Banks, NY Green Bank may provide financing along with mid- and back-office services, due diligence, underwriting and general technical support. As the next step in raising third-party capital, NY Green Bank will issue a request for proposals for advisory services to evaluate options for structuring and facilitating such an effort and ultimately assisting in securing third-party capital. The RFP is expected to be released by the end of the year.

Climate Jobs Now! Summit

On the eve of the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, New York State hosted the Climate Jobs Now! Summit opened by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. At the summit, representatives from Climate Jobs NY joined labor leaders and climate advocates to discuss how New York's progressive clean energy policies are driving economic development and creating well-paying jobs.

Climate Jobs NY Milestones

Robust Large-Scale Renewable Energy Project Development

In June, Governor Cuomo announced the largest solicitation for renewable energy by a state in US history, carried out by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Power Authority. Since June, more than 200 proposals have been received by the state from large-scale clean energy project developers. Proposed projects include wind farms, hydroelectric facilities, biogas and utility-scale solar farms.

The pool of NYSERDA projects includes over 4,000 megawatts of renewable capacity that could generate more than 9.5 million megawatt hours per year, representing more than six times the quantity sought under the previous solicitation. When built, the projects will add historic amounts of renewable energy to New York's power supply. NYSERDA will determine awards later this year and NYPA in early 2018. Similar projects have been shown to provide benefits to the state of three times the cost to ratepayers and result in tangible impacts to communities, labor groups and local goods and services.

Accelerated Energy Efficiency and Solar

As announced in June, NYPA is accelerating its annual investments in energy efficiency and solar by $300 million through 2020 as part of its BuildSmartNY and K-Solar programs. Since the announcement, NYPA has signed 27 new energy efficiency customer project commitments with a combined project investment of more than $158 million. NYPA has completed energy efficiency projects with a combined project investment of $81.5 million that will result in more than 277,000 MMBTUs in energy savings and 25,000 tons of GHG emissions reduced annually, or the equivalent of taking 4,800 cars off the road.

In addition, NYPA has also progressed with several projects in development for New York State agencies, cities, town, counties and villages including the process of designing and constructing solar power generation installations  for eighteen sites in seven New York State parks.

SUNY $15 Million Workforce Development Initiative

In June, Governor Cuomo announced as a part of Climate Jobs NY agenda a $15 Million in Workforce Development & Training Programs at SUNY campuses. SUNY campuses are in the process of establishing a Community of Practice in clean energy workforce development to extend best practices and training opportunities to support the New York State clean energy industry. Campuses have submitted applications which are being reviewed by panelists now. 

New Steps on Environmental Justice and Workforce Development

The Governor also announced in June the formation of the Environmental Justice Working Group to advise the State on the integration of environmental justice and just transition principles into all agency policies and help shape environmental justice initiatives, including community impact grants, green workforce development and "just transition" programs. The working group convened on September 6th and the next meeting is scheduled for early next month.

Release of NYSERDA Clean Energy Industry Report

NYSERDA today also released its Clean Energy Industry Report, showing clean energy jobs now employ 146,000 New Yorkers across the state, and that clean energy jobs are growing at a rate of more than two-times the state average, with a growth rate of 3.4 percent from December 2015 to December 2016. Job growth is projected to continue its rapid expansion, with the report projecting growth to double again to 7 percent by year end.

The Clean Energy Industry Report tracks and analyzes data on clean energy jobs, geographic distribution, and employer needs to produce useful insights for New York as it seeks to achieve climate goals, create jobs, and economic opportunity across the State. The newly reported numbers reflect the state's progress in transitioning to a clean energy economy with workforce creation under the Governor's climate change initiatives. Further details of the report can be found here.

"Today's announcements reflect the remarkable progress made on clean energy and climate under the leadership of Governor Cuomo," New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said. "In regards to NY Green Bank's announcement, the opportunity to explore raising third party capital will open up new opportunities to provide greater confidence to the marketplace, drive down costs, and lead to even greater scale." 

"As a direct result of Governor Cuomo's leadership in embracing nation-leading clean energy policies, clean energy companies throughout New York are creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy faster than ever before," said Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "New York is proving that leading in the fight on climate change is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an entirely new home-grown industry, and the 2017 New York Clean Energy Industry Report released by NYSERDA today is further evidence that New York is capitalizing on this moment of opportunity."

"The Power Authority is accelerating its energy efficiency efforts and doubling down on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "NYPA is teaming up with state agencies and local municipalities to install energy efficiency technology at locations across New York, protecting the environment and reducing energy costs for taxpayers."

"We're delighted to be able to announce our intentions to raise another $1 billion for the financing of clean energy projects beyond New York State," said Alfred Griffin, NY Green Bank President. "Our demonstrated track record and uniquely capable team make us well positioned to tap into emerging clean energy markets and we have been pleased with the response we've received from institutional investors seeking to deploy capital into sustainable infrastructure."

"There is no greater champion for solid middle class job creation and for protecting our environment than Governor Cuomo. His vision to combat climate change while creating jobs demonstrates that labor, government, industry, and environmental leaders can come together around bold ideas that benefit both the environment and workers," said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Greater New York Building Trades Council.

Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO said, "We commend Governor Cuomo for his bold proactive approach in ensuring New York State once again leads the way in transitioning to new energy sources and to a new economy. The labor movement is proud to be at the forefront of a better and brighter tomorrow both in terms of the environment and the creation of long-term quality union jobs to help build up the middle class."

"The Sierra Club applauds Governor Cuomo's commitment to build New York into an economic renewable energy powerhouse. New York's continued leadership demonstrates to the nation that fighting climate change is compatible with spurring economic development and creating family wage jobs in the transition to 100 percent clean energy for all," said Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative for the Sierra Club.