New York Eyes $1bn Green Bank, Electric Car Network

by | Jan 11, 2013

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed creating a green bank to spur private investment in the clean economy. He also called for a state-wide electric car network and an extension to the state’s solar program.

Cuomo briefly described these plans and named Richard Kauffman to a cabinet-level energy czar position during his 2013 State of the State address. Kauffman, who most recently worked as a senior adviser to the US secretary of energy Steven Chu, will coordinate the state’s cleantech agenda and oversee the government’s energy portfolio, according to information released by the governor’s office.

One of Kauffman’s primary responsibilities will be to establish the NY Green Bank, a fund with $1 billion in initial capital, which will be used to leverage public dollars with private sector matched money, Cuomo said.

The green bank will be created within the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and will offer loans and grants to further clean energy deployment, coordinate the state’s clean energy spending and alleviate financial maker barriers, Cuomo said.

Cuomo also proposed the creation of the Charge New York program, which would invest in an electric car network aimed at reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Cuomo didn’t reveal the potential cost or specifics of the program, but said in his address it would install a statewide network of charging stations.

And under the governor’s plans, the government would extend the NY-Sun Initiative to $150 million annually for 10 years, in an effort to increase solar panel installations at homes and businesses.

NY-Sun, which Cuomo jump-started in 2012, is administered by NYSERDA, Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority. The program seeks to increase financial incentives for large, commercial-sized PV projects, and expand incentive programs for small-to-medium residential and commercial systems. NY-Sun also seeks to initiate a balance-of-system program to standardize and streamline procedures for permitting and interconnection.

Earlier this month, Cuomo issued an executive order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years.

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