Let New York Towns Enter the New Clean Energy Economy 

New York is leading the nation with the mandate of 70% renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030 but in order to get large-scale wind and solar projects built we need to encourage towns to welcome wind and solar projects to their communities.

Sign the petition below to send a message to Governor Cuomo and Budget Director Robert Mujica to make sure that renewable energy projects move forward in New York State today!

Petition: New York Towns Should be Clean Energy Partners

TO: Governor Andrew Cuomo & Budget Director Robert Mujica

RE: New York Towns Should be Clean Energy Partners

We, the undersigned, join with New Yorkers for Clean Power in urging you to create the incentives and outreach that will make New York’s towns and counties your partners in the state’s clean energy transition.

We enthusiastically support the clean electricity goal included in the new Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, i.e. the 70% renewable by 2030 mandate. We know that this goal will require the construction of substantial amounts of grid-connected wind power, solar power, and offshore wind power in the next ten years. There are now over 100 grid-scale wind and solar projects proposed in Upstate New York, but zero grid-scale projects under construction. Further, while there have been numerous applications to the State’s Siting Board, only three wind projects have received the necessary certificate, and none of those have begun construction. Clearly, the pace of wind and solar permitting and construction in NY needs to dramatically increase.

New York State needs to work better with its counties and towns to encourage them to welcome wind and solar projects to their communities. Towards this goal, we recommend that:

1) NYS should increase municipal State aid for wind and solar host communities by including an adder in the calculation of aid that the State grants to municipalities, such as the AIM, CHIPs programs, and Education Foundation Aid. Further, the State should create grant programs specifically for municipalities that host grid-scale projects, to be used for diverse community improvement projects. Also, NY should prioritize renewables host communities for all State grants implemented and distributed by the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs). In these ways, the State would be letting municipalities know that the placement and construction of renewable energy projects are an economic priority for the State.

2) NYS should amend the property tax cap program to remove a barrier to renewables development. Currently, while revenue from Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements are included in the annual calculations for the tax cap, the real property improvements made under a PILOT are not counted under the Tax Base Growth Factor. By exempting PILOT property assessment increases, and not exempting PILOT revenue from Tax Cap calculations, the current law limits revenues that a municipality can raise by hosting a wind or solar project. An amendment to the tax cap that includes the change in assessed value for each property under a PILOT agreement in the calculation will ensure that municipalities are rewarded for hosting renewable energy projects.

3) Renewable Energy Technical Assistance Staff at the Regional Planning Councils – Local municipalities need to have a trusted expert in renewable energy siting that they can rely on to offer guidance as new projects are proposed. A staff member at each of the Regional Planning Councils can provide model ordinances and be a one-stop shop to assist municipalities. This should be funded by the State.

New York is leading the way in climate action policy. But we need your help to get wind and solar projects under construction. This will require making counties and towns a partner in the clean energy transition.

Signed, New Yorkers for Clean Power and the undersigned individuals,

**your signature**

172 signatures

Share this with your friends: