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Build Public Renewables Act

The New York Build Public Renewables Act is the first step to moving New York State to the 100% renewable, democratically controlled, publicly owned energy system we need in order to lead the nation on climate. Passing the bill would accomplish the following:

Building renewable Generation

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will be enabled to build and own new renewable generation, and will phase out its existing fossil fuel plants as quickly as possible.

  • New York remains at 5% wind and solar, and 29% renewables overall. We do not have enough renewable projects in the pipeline to meet the CLCPA-mandated target of 70% renewable energy by 2030.
  • NYPA is the largest public utility in the country, and already provides 25% of New York’s energy, around 80% of which is renewable hydroelectric power, which is the most affordable energy in the state. But, NYPA is currently restricted by its charter from owning more than six generation projects over 25MW.
  • The Build Public Renewables Act would remove this restriction, allowing NYPA to scale up new large-scale renewables faster, cheaper, and more democratically than private developers can.

Lower energy Rates

NYPA will be enabled to sell low-cost renewable energy directly to all customer classes wholesale.

  • Disadvantaged communities and low-income customers will be prioritized and automatically enrolled to receive the lowest-cost NYPA power on an opt-out basis.

energy under public control

NYSERDA’s Regional Clean Energy Hubs will foster public engagement on NYPA’s climate and resiliency plans, renewable energy siting, and research, and connect New Yorkers with energy efficiency programs and incentives, green jobs and training opportunities, and more.

  • This will help overcome siting challenges by democratizing the siting process and increasing coordination between NYPA, NYSERDA, and ORES.

affordable transition to renewables

The bill will be revenue neutral for the State and may be financed through a combination of NYPA’s low-cost bond issuances and progressive electric rates, ensuring the renewable transition is as affordable as possible.

  • It would generate $48.6-$93.5 billion in additional economic activity by 2030, and ensure more of the dollars we spend on energy stay in New York. Right now, $36 billion of the $61 billion we pay annually for energy flows out of state because we are so reliant on fossil fuels from other states, and we are relying on foreign-owned companies like Ørsted to build offshore wind.

Green union jobs

It will create between 28,410 – 51,133 good jobs. All NYPA projects will pay prevailing wage, remain neutral to unionization, and will be subject to project labor agreements.

  • Right now, many jobs in renewable energy are non-union. This bill would ensure that green jobs are well-paying union jobs, and would create a just transition for fossil fuel industry workers.

A Data for Progress poll found 81% of Democrats and 68% of all likely voters support this bill.