New York– In an effort for the state’s power to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget for 2019 includes $1.5 billion to fund 20 large solar, wind and energy storage projects across upstate New York. This will be the third year that the governor’s office has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for large-scale wind and solar projects.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will issue an RFP in April of this year. The state is also investing $1.75 billion in New York’s Green bank, a venture fund focused on clean energy projects, and $3.5 billion toward private investment in solar through the NY-Sun program to offer incentives to residents and businesses.
California and Oregon- The Iron Gate, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2 and J.C. Boyle dams, located on the Klamath River at the California and Oregon border, were built between 1903 and 1962 to provide hydroelectric power. Now they are being demolished at an estimated cost of $398 million. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is reviewing Transfer and Surrender applications submitted by the Klamath River Renewal Corp. (KRRC). KRRC plans to take ownership of the dams from its current owner – PacifiCorp – then remove them, restore formerly inundated lands and implement required mitigation measures in compliance with all applicable regulations. The corporation has performed site assessments and engineering studies leading to the development of the Definite Plan for the Lower Klamath Project, filed with FERC on June 28, 2018. The 2,300-page plan provides comprehensive analysis and detail on project design, dam removal, reservoir restoration and other post-deconstruction activities.
The KRRC is securing the engineering and construction resources needed for dam removal and site restoration. KRRC will soon issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the dam removal design-build contract, followed by a request for proposals at the end of the year. The selected firm will operate under a progressive design-build delivery method. Pending regulatory approval, this massive project will take place in phases, beginning with site preparation in mid-2020 and deconstruction expected to begin in 2021.
There are currently 9,025 megawatts (MW) of wind projects under construction in the United States and an additional 11,952 MW in advanced development, according to the Wind Energy Association. Texas, the country’s top state for wind power capacity, was the leading location for wind installations in the first quarter, followed by Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Michigan. The U.S. wind industry installed 2,000 MW of capacity in the first quarter, nearly four times the amount installed in the same period last year, as developers race to capture a federal tax credit that is gradually being phased out. The federal production tax credit for wind projects does not expire until 2020.
Starting this year, however, the credit’s value will drop by 20 percent each year for projects that start construction from 2017 through 2019. About a quarter of the megawatts installed in the first quarter are contracted to buyers outside the utility industry, including the U.S. Army and other businesses. A landmark state law signed last summer in Massachusetts will make it the nation’s biggest state commitment to offshore wind to date. Three companies have their eye on the bid to buy long-term contracts for at least 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power in the next decade. Companies have to solicit bids jointly by June 30 for the first project, which must provide at least 400 MW of power. Not until June will interested parties get a glimpse of a timeline for the bidding process. The $113 million state-funded terminal spans 26 acres of waterfront property at 16 Blackmer St., just inside the hurricane barrier.
For the first wind project, large turbine components would probably be shipped to the Marine Commerce Terminal, where they would be assembled and perhaps painted. Blades would likely be affixed to the hub at sea and each turbine would have an elevator inside and would require a significant amount of electrical work. Behind the hub of a wind turbine is the nacelle, which houses the generator and sometimes space for a worker to stay overnight. It’s estimated that permitting and financing for the first project would last into 2019. Construction could start around 2021, and if the timeline goes as expected for future rounds to bring the state up to 1,600 MW construction on the second project could start around 2024.