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New York Governor Sets New Solar Energy Goal, Announces Major Infrastructure Projects

NEW YORK NOW - New York state is expanding its solar energy goals, with a commitment of at least 10 gigawatts of distributed solar power installed by 2030, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday.

Speaking at Climate Week NYC, an annual event focused on strategies to combat climate change, Hochul said the state’s ahead of schedule on its renewable energy goals.

“The good news is we're almost there already, 2025, we're going to beat that by years,” Hochul said. “So I said, okay, that's not good enough.”

New York currently has a goal of producing six gigawatts of electricity by 2025, which is a benchmark for meeting the state’s other renewable energy goals. New York has a goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030.

Producing more solar power is an integral part of the state’s renewable energy goals, along with energy produced through wind.

Being able to produce 10 gigawatts of solar energy would be a significant feat in the state’s strategy. For context, 10 gigawatts is equal to one billion watts, and standard LED light bulbs need less than 10 watts of power.

Hochul also announced that the state is awarding two major energy infrastructure contracts geared toward delivering more renewable energy to New York City, which gets a significant amount of its power from fossil fuels.

“It's impossible to overstate how important that is for New York City,” Hochul said. “As we left reliance on Indian Point nuclear power and we are transitioning to wind, solar and hydropower, this is a major, major initiative to deliver clean, healthier air and more electricity to New York City.”

The first, if approved, would be a 174-mile transmission project from Delaware County to Queens, and the second would be a 339-mile transmission project from Quebec to Queens. Hochul said those projects could create more than 10,000 jobs.

While those initiatives are independent from the Legislature, they’re part of the state’s strategy to comply with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act — New York’s ambitious climate law approved by lawmakers in 2019.

That law sets benchmarks for the state’s transition away from fossil fuels, like goals of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 100% emissions-free electricity by 2040.