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Clean Energy Alliance Pleased With Gov. Hochul's "Strong" Path to Meet Ambitious Climate Plan Goals

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Five turbines make up the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island

Advocates of clean energy in New York say they’re glad to see Governor Hochul make a strong commitment on critical pieces of the state’s Climate Action Plan in her state of the state address.

"I'm now announcing a nation-leading $500 million investment in off-shore wind energy that will create thousands of good-paying green jobs," said Hochul last Wednesday.

Anne Reynolds is executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy. She says the investment is essential if the state is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

"I would go so far as to say we won't meet our climate action goals without off-shore wind energy. We need that power production close to New York City and Long Island where there's a lot of people using electricity. We have made good progress; there's been five projects that have been awarded contracts. We're expecting the first one to start construction this year in 2022.

Reynolds says they’re expecting the federal government to auction off new underwater leases early this year so the state could solicit another round of development. She says the investment also spins off to include manufacturing, port upgrades, and infrastructure improvements, all of which create jobs.

Also needed is storage capacity, and Reynolds says Hochul’s goal to build eight gigawatts by 2030 is a critical piece of the clean energy supply chain.

"The governor paired that goal with a battery research and development center in Binghamton. Again, trying to not just get that clean energy, but get some of that supply chain development happening in New York State as well."

Another piece of the governor’s plan is to achieve two million climate friendly homes, also in just eight years. Reynolds says she was glad to hear Hochul’s effort to align private money with this goal.

"Building electrification is relatively new. It's a different set of players. You have to convince homebuilders, construction companies, and real estate developers to change the way they're doing things, and to build a different kind of building. To do that, you have to convince the banks that finance them that these electric homes work and people will live in electric homes."

Heating and cooling buildings, typically using natural gas, is responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In our next story, we'll take a look at meeting climate goals in the transportation sector.