New York and California are investing big in renewable energy, with both states separately announcing their largest advancements in these efforts to date.
The states are two of the most populated in the United States and are often considered changemakers for policies. News from both states comes as the nation is undertaking a big investment in its electric grid, with $3.5 billion in funding for 58 projects in 44 states.
New York’s Largest Renewable Investment
In New York, the largest-ever state investment in renewable energy was announced, with nearly $1 billion in renewable energy funding announced. That includes $300 million committed from the state and another $668 million in private funding. The investments are earmarked for the nation’s first offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities.
“New York continues to set the pace for our nation’s transition to clean energy,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “An investment of this magnitude is about more than just fighting climate change — we’re creating good-paying union jobs, improving the reliability of our electric grid, and generating significant benefits in disadvantaged communities. Today, we are taking action to keep New York’s climate goals within reach, demonstrating to the nation how to recalibrate in the wake of global economic challenges while driving us toward a greener and more prosperous future for generations to come.”
The overall package includes three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects, totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy. That’s a significant increase in renewable energy for the state, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12% of the state’s electricity needs once completed.
With the addition of two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, the new projects will also add 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and bring on $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, according to the Governor’s office. The projects push New York closer to its goal of reaching 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030.
West Coast Energy Storage
California also announced a major milestone in its efforts toward a renewable future and improving energy resiliency, with the state increasing its energy storage by 757% in four years. That increase is enough to power 6.6 million buildings for up to four hours, a marked improvement in fighting climate change.
Overall, California has built out more than 6.6 GW of battery storage, up from 770 megawatts four years ago and double the amount installed two years ago.
“The more homes and businesses we can power with clean energy, the more we can clean our air and cut pollution,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “California — 40 million people strong and the 5th biggest economy in the world — is showing the rest of the globe how to fight climate change while making the grid more reliable and creating new jobs. This is essential to how we fight climate change and protect Californians.”
California, compared to New York, has a goal of a 100% clean electric grid by 2045. Energy storage is an important part of clean energy, by storing excess power from solar, wind, and other renewable sources generated during the day in order to meet energy needs at night.