park-wind-farm-3704939_640-150x150-5886927Upstate electricity customers could shell out more than $1 billion to cover the state’s initial round of subsidies for offshore wind turbines, the Cuomo administration’s energy agency has now revealed.

Documents filed today by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with the state Public Service Commission place the total pricetag on the subsidies as high as $2.2 billion (in 2018 dollars), essentially by promising to pay the operators about double the current wholesale price of electricity on Long Island and New York City for a 25-year period.

Those subsidies will be collected using the PSC’s rate-setting powers, as electric utilities and large electric customers are forced to buy offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) commensurate with the amount of energy they handle on the state’s grid. That funding mechanism means utility customers as far away as Buffalo and Plattsburgh have to chip in—and more than half the funds will come from electricity customers north of New York City.

(Electricity companies, by the way, are prohibited from showing the cost of these subsidies on customer bills).

The awards cover less than 20 percent of the 9,000 megawatts of wind turbines the state is slated to subsidize under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act signed in July–meaning upstaters can expect to be tapped again in the next few years.

The costs of these turbines, which Governor Andrew Cuomo says are necessary to reduce the state’s carbon emissions, were needlessly inflated by the Cuomo administration’s insistence that contractors use union labor, abide by the state’s Section 220 “prevailing wage” and by the state’s decision to restrict bidding to just a handful of companies that already hold leases in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Cuomo administration, meanwhile, has blocked less expensive forms of renewable energy (namely most Canadian hydro) from competing for state subsidies. 

You may also like

Summary of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s Scoping Plan

The Scoping Plan makes the following recommendations to guide CLCPA implementation. Read More

Emails show Cuomo’s staff working on his memoir at the peak of New York’s pandemic

Newly available records shed further light on the origins of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pandemic memoir, which won him a $5.1 million publishing contract before contributing to his political downfall. The records reveal that his government staff were a Read More

LIPA Commission Blows Past Another Deadline

The continues to flout its statutory deadlines. After public hearings more than two months late, it has now blown past its December 31 deadline f Read More

Hochul’s Call on Crypto Bill Puts Climate Agenda over Upstate Economy

After remaining for months on the fate of the proposed two-year moratorium on crypto-mining, Governor Kathy Hochul has now the bill into law, as her administr Read More

Municipalized LIPA Won’t Solve Long Islanders’ Power Woes

If the power goes out under a fully municipalized LIPA, you can bet neither the Legislature nor public power advocates will accept the blame. Read More

Hochul’s Pandemic Study Is Off to an Underwhelming Start

Although Governor Hochul's long-promised review of New York's COVID response hasn't formally started yet, it has already exposed important information about the state's pandemic preparedness – much of which is unflattering. Read More

New Docs Raise Big Questions About NY’s Megafab Mega-Deal

The Hochul Administration published a pair of documents concerning the Micron Megafab deal that raise more questions than they answer. Read More

Can New York Afford the “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022”?

On November 8, New Yorkers will be voting on Proposal 1, the $4.2 billion “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond.” Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!