NY State Governor Calls for Energy Highway, NY-Sun Initiative

In his 2012, State of the State Address this week, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined a comprehensive agenda to re-build the state’s economy and jobs by investing billions of dollars in key public-private sector partnerships.

Among his proposals, which includes building the largest convention center in America, a constitutional amendment that allows casino gambling in the state, and an infrastructure retrofit fund, is support for the green economy.

  •  An "Energy Highway" System to Power New York’s Economic Growth: a private sector- funded $2 billion "Energy Highway" system will bring renewable energy from  Upstate and Western regions to Downstate NY where energy demand is highest. The plan also calls for the repowering of old and dirty plants to stop pollution in urban neighborhoods.
  • Invest in Solar While Protecting Ratepayers: the new NY-Sun Initiative is meant to expand solar production in the state while keeping costs down. 

    NY-Sun will help increase competitive procurement of large, commercial-sized solar projects and expand rebate programs for residential and commercial small-to-medium systems. The program is designed to quadruple annual solar installations by 2013.

  • Expedite On-Bill Financing for Consumer Energy Efficiency Upgrades: this statewide program that allows homeowners to pay for energy efficient upgrades as part of their monthly utility bill, begins this month. 
  • Master Plan for Energy Efficiency in State Facilities: To promote energy efficiency, save taxpayer money, create jobs, and reduce pollution, NY has developed a master plan for accelerating energy retrofits in state facilities.

    As do homeowners in On-Bill Financing, the state will pay for energy retrofits from energy savings. The program will create thousands of high skilled jobs and reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 8.1 million metric tons.

  • Farm-NY: Strengthening New York’s Agriculture Sector: farmers will be supported with low interest loans, and the 1.5 million New Yorkers who live in areas with limited supermarket access will benefit from the  expansion of the successful FreshConnect farmers’ market program, which provides residents with healthy, locally-grown food. Cuomo is also calling for the creation of large-scale distribution hubs strategically located across the state to improve promotion of produce grown by New York farmers.

He also called for comprehensive reform of NY’s campaign finance system, noting the state ranks 48th in the nation in voter turnout and a smaller percentage of New York residents contribute to candidates to state office than anywhere else in the nation. His system would include matched contributions and lower contribution limits, and more enforcement at the Board of Elections.

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