(The Center Square) – On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a strategy that would make the Empire State the country’s leader in building a green economy.
Cuomo said investment in solar farms and offshore wind, as well as facilities that can store the power they produce, can create more than 50,000 jobs. That also includes the development of a green energy transmission superhighway to connect the generation sites and storage facilities.
These efforts will lead to $29 billion in private investment across the state, the governor said.
“Green energy is a pressing moral imperative and a prime economic opportunity,” he said. “New York can and will be the nation’s leader for renewable energy innovation and production, all while securing jobs of the future for New Yorkers.”
The initiative includes developing two new wind farms 20 miles the Long Island coast, in what the state billed as the largest procurement of renewable energy by a state.
That contract went to Equinor, which is partnering with BP to provide 3.3 gigawatts of power. In addition to installing the offshore farms, the project also calls for the redevelopment of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany to help New York become a hub for the wind power industry.
Albany will become the site of the country’s first tower production facility while Brooklyn will house a staging facility and maintenance center.
“Together, Equinor and the State of New York will create a robust offshore wind supply chain capable of manufacturing, assembling, and staging these projects at scale,” said Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind U.S.
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To ensure there’s a ready workforce for those jobs, Cuomo said the state plans to spend $20 million to develop an Offshore Wind Training Institute at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College. The institute will help prepare at least 2,500 New Yorkers for jobs in the industry.
In addition to harnessing wind power, Cuomo said the state plans to rebuild the power line infrastructure that will enable New York City to gain easier access to renewable energy from the upstater region and Canada.
The governor said the state’s outdated power grid led to about $1 billion in “congestion costs” that customers had to pay.
“Our new energy superhighway will be optimized by state-of-the-art battery storage facilities, so we can store renewable energy to be used when needed,” he added. “These projects will not only create power but bring needed economic opportunity to struggling parts of our state, create green jobs, and make New York State a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse.”
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