VIDEO, AUDIO, PHOTOS & RUSH TRANSCRIPT: GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES NATION’S LARGEST-EVER STATE INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY IS MOVING FORWARD IN NEW YORK
Basil Seggos as well. Great leaders. All the members of my administration, I thank them. Julie Tighe, you are a legacy maker. You know, the work that you have done in this state will have effects that are felt for generations. But we’re feeling them right here and now. So, thank you for your voice of advocacy, Julie Tighe.
Three Offshore Wind and 22 Land-Based Renewable Energy Projects Totaling 6.4 Gigawatts Will Power 2.6 Million New York Homes and Deliver 12 Percent of New York’s Electricity Needs in 2030
79 Percent of New York’s 2030 Electricity Needs to be Met with Renewable Energy
Governor Hochul: “The State of New York is announcing the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history…Three offshore wind projects and 22 renewable projects that’ll generate enough power to power 2.6 million homes. Our green energy future is now – the green energy present. We’re not waiting any longer. This is a historic investment to demonstrate our full commitment to renewables.”
Hochul: “We’ll be judged by how we act in this moment. Do we have the courage, the will, to put the resources behind us and break through all barriers to get this done right? To think act, to think boldly, and act boldly and to seize this moment? The projects we’re announcing today will do just that. It’ll set us apart, and it’ll help us help not just New York but the nation’s transition to clean energy. And we’ll lead by example for others to follow. That’s what New York always does.”
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed. When coupled with two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, this portfolio of newly announced projects is expected to create approximately 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities. Today’s announcement supports progress toward New York’s goal for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 – and nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 – on the path to a zero-emission grid as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Following these awards, New York will now have enough operating, contracted, and under development renewable energy projects to supply 79 percent of the state’s 2030 electricity needs with renewable energy.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
If you want to know what a thriving green economy looks like, well just listen – the answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. Sorry Bob Dylan. Less than two weeks ago, I announced a 10-Point Action Plan to boost our already thriving large-scale renewable energy industry. I said step one, those of you who read it, was to announce a historic suite of awards.
I’m proud to say we’re keeping that promise from two weeks ago, and today, the State of New York is announcing the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history, right here, right now. Thank you.
Three offshore wind projects and 22 renewable projects that’ll generate enough power to power 2.6 million homes. Our green energy future is now – the green energy present. We’re not waiting any longer. This is a historic investment to demonstrate our full commitment to renewables and this particular energy, this form of energy.
And I thank all of you for being here today at this magnificent site, a place that Chris and members of his Local dreamed about for a long time. And I’m told it’s the best place in New York City to watch fireworks. Oh, an extraordinary view. A place where on any given day, there’s 1,000 people, the apprentices, who made a decision to change their lives and their family’s lives by saying, “I want a job that’s going to be there for the long term,” unlike the jobs that my dad and grandpa had at a steel plant, where the jobs all went offshore. This is not going anywhere, but off the shores of Long Island. And that is our commitment. That is our commitment.
So, I thank Local 3. I thank Chris Erikson for his support for all these initiatives and transitioning to this form of work. This is a form of work that’s going to be there for generations to come and it starts in places like this magnificent training center. I also want to give a shout out to Mario Cilento the whole head of the New York State AFL-CIO who is dedicated commitment day and night to making sure that New Yorkers have good energy jobs and making sure that the union movement is at the forefront. So, thank you, Mario. Thank you.
Gary LaBarbera, thank you for also helping to train these individuals and all the different facets. You know, we need partners like you. So, I thank you for your support. John Durso from the Long Island Labor Federation. Let’s wish him a happy birthday while we’re at it here today.
From my administration. I want to acknowledge Doreen Harris, who has been an extraordinary champion. Where’s Doreen? Doreen. Thank you. And Basil Seggos, NYSERDA and DEC. Basil Seggos as well. Great leaders. All the members of my administration, I thank them. Julie Tighe, you are a legacy maker. You know, the work that you have done in this state will have effects that are felt for generations. But we’re feeling them right here and now. So, thank you for your voice of advocacy, Julie Tighe.
Anne Reynolds, the Executive Director of ACE New York, ACE. Do you go by ACE or ACE? What’s your preference? ACE! Okay, we got the ACE in the hole over here. And thank you for representing this industry that’s so important to us.
Is Kevin Parker here? Kevin? Alright, Kevin’s got a nice seat waiting for him. Didi Barrett is here, Kevin Law. I think Julie Won is here as well, Julie. Anyhow, those of you who are here are going to have a great time. I’m sorry about those who didn’t make it. But also, we have a special guest who I’ll be introducing in a couple minutes.
President Joe Biden is so committed to this effort that he wanted to make sure that his top energy advisor, his climate advisor, Ali Zaidi, would be joining us here in person today. You’ll be hearing from him in a couple of minutes. Let’s give him a round of applause for the great work he does.
We just saw him last month. He’s here at all these major announcements because they’re happening here and nowhere else. Let’s just get that out there. You might as well get an apartment here because we’re just getting warmed up here. And we’re proud because the Inflation Reduction Act is what provided New York the additional resources, the powerful tools to be able to take these bold steps.
So, the State of New York is committed, but also having the resources from the federal government truly makes our job a lot easier. And it’s also, as I mentioned, fitting that we’re at this training center today where I saw incredible state-of-the-art opportunities for people to learn the best and how to be the best workers in this field.
And so, they’ll be tapped. I guarantee you’re all going to be in high demand as we continue to unleash this great industry. As we mentioned, the climate crisis is not some far off threat we talk about. I think about the environment a lot as someone who grew up basically in a pretty toxic area.
The Bethlehem Steel Plant was close by and at night we’d see the discharge. It looked like molten lava to me as a little kid going into Lake Erie, one of the great freshwater bodies of water on our planet. And we would swim in it while they were making the rounds, dumping every night, the skies were not blue, they were orange because that was being emitted from all the smokestacks. And everybody was working there, my dad in the blast furnace ramping the coke ovens. I mean, everybody was working. Nobody knew any better. And we felt the effects for a long time until people became enlightened and realized that mankind’s assault on Mother Nature had to stop. And we have stopped it.
But now we embrace the opportunity to use our wonderful assets including the wind to help transition us into a much cleaner future for our children, and we have a responsibility. We see what’s already happening. Temperatures of the water are rising. Sea levels are rising. And we’ve witnessed firsthand the storms are getting far more severe. I can’t tell you how many emergency declarations I’ve had to issue in the two years I’ve been Governor. Record snow, thousand-year flooding events. I said, “Who knew, who’s tracking this for a thousand years?” I mean, but they tell me it’s a thousand-year flooding event. Even a couple years ago, every two years having a 100-year flooding event up in the Great Lakes and in the Hudson Valley, the North Country, all over New York City seeing record, record rainfall. You can’t say this is something that could happen in the future someday. The effects are being felt in the here and now. And it’s only going to get worse because we didn’t take these steps a few years ago, number of years ago.
And I think about the fact when I was a young staffer for a congressman right after Jimmy Carter initiated very thought-leading initiatives, tax credits for renewable energy, for wind and solar. If they had not been repealed by the Ronald Reagan budget a year later, when I came to Washington, just imagine the world we live in today. That was many years ago. That would be the world we live in now. We’d have no fossil fuels. We’d be focused on clean energy right now, but we have some time to make up for now, and we have a lot of work to do.
We have a strong commitment here in the State of New York. Every other state’s watching. They want to know, can we do it here in New York State? And we will. We always dream the impossible, but we always make it look easy. That’s what we do in New York. Seventy percent of our electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. That is a commitment by all of us. We will achieve that. A zero emissions electric grid by 2040, and 85 percent reduction in statewide climate pollution by 2050. And I’m not afraid of those numbers. People say, “Oh, you’re going to make it?” Don’t worry, I have the team, we have the commitment, we have the workers, we have the opportunities, and we have the will. That’s what we have to have, the will, to just charge right through these obstacles. It’s what we do every single day.
And we have a bold agenda to match these commitments. And when we finish these projects, we’ll generate 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy. Now, some of you might say, 6.4, doesn’t 10 sound better? I’ll tell you, it’s better than nothing. That’s a good number. That’s a good number. That’s enough to power, as I said, 2.6 million homes, or 12 percent of New York’s energy needs right from these announcements today. This is one day’s announcements. And that’s the equivalent of taking two million cars off the roads.
Think about your kids, grandkids that’s yet to come, perhaps. They’re going to be able to breathe cleaner air because of what we’re doing here today. And it’ll help children with asthma, a real problem we have here in New York City. And also, I love the economic impact of all these investments. I love the jobs they’re creating. Twenty-five projects we’re announcing today will generate $20 billion in economic investment right here in the State of New York. $20 billion. You like that number, folks? That’s pretty darn good.
And how do you like the sound of 8,300 good paying jobs to be able to support your families right here in New York? 8,300 jobs. The big smile from Gary and Mario and John. This, in fact, is one of the fastest growing job creators, this sector is. And that’s why we’re leaning so hard into it. And we expect it’ll support over 600,000 jobs by the year 2050.
And I have some other good news. Another announcement to make. Now last year in our state budget, I fought hard, was able to achieve an unprecedented $500 million in the state budget to support offshore wind manufacturing and supply chain products. And I thank the legislators who were at the forefront with me. Thank you. And our leaders in the Assembly and the Senate, thank you. But that investment and no other state made this kind of commitment. I said, “This sounds great, but I’m not real excited about having to buy all the component parts overseas.” We just saw what happened during the pandemic when our economy almost shut down, not just because of a global pandemic, a virus, but we also couldn’t get chips from overseas producers, which is why we’re investing so heavily into Micron. Another topic, another day, but an exciting one.
We also said, what about the turbines? What about the blades? I don’t want to be waiting for them to come over from Germany if we have another problem and all the ships are stuck in port. That’s going to cripple our industry before it even gets going. Let’s make the component parts here in New York. Creating jobs and economic investment.
So, while we’re at it today, of the 500 million dollars we’re awarding, 300 million dollars in state funds to enable the development of two supply chain capabilities in the Capital Region. Henry Hudson discovered the value of the Hudson River – you can bring a lot of commerce to change the world into New York City – many, many decades or centuries ago. We can use that waterway again. Manufacture up in our Capital Region, bring the component parts down here, manufacture them, get them offshore. It’s brilliant, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today. We’re leveraging that 300 million dollars for nearly 1 billion dollars in investments for these manufacturing products.
This is a good day, my friends. And they’ll make the nacelles, which I have no idea what that is, but it sounds important. Actually, I do know, I do know. It’s the part in the middle where the blades attach. We’re making the blades. Okay, you all know what the blades look like. How about made in New York stamped on the blades? I’m feeling good about that.
And these turbines, are as long as a football field, although I don’t really want to talk about football today. Another story. Some Mondays are better than others, but it’s exciting. I mean, can you feel, literally feel, the energy around this? And this will be the first time ever that these component parts we manufacture, not just in New York, but in the United States of America. We’re bringing home the jobs, we’re bringing home the manufacturing under President Biden and this administration.
So, we’re truly launching a brand-new industry here. Change is in the wind, it’s coming. And it’s our responsibility to make sure we get it right. Because we’ll be judged by how we act in this moment. Do we have the courage, the will, to put the resources behind us and break through all barriers to get this done right? To think act, to think boldly, and act boldly and to seize this moment?
The projects we’re announcing today will do just that. It’ll set us apart, and it’ll help us help not just New York but the nation’s transition to clean energy. And we’ll lead by example for others to follow. That’s what New York always does. And I could not be prouder at this time to thank all of you for being part of making history. Congratulations.
As I mentioned, it’s great to have friends in Washington. New York has no greater friend than President Joe Biden, who has been there at all the significant announcements. I was just with the CEO of Micron Sunday. Oh, today’s Tuesday, isn’t it? Okay. Still feeling the loss of Sunday’s case. I just sat down with him, and he talked about how President Biden was so important in championing legislation to make sure that we could manufacture chips, and Chuck Schumer and the two of them. But I said, in New York State, we have to make sure we are competitive as well.
This is what we’re talking about, my friends. Partnerships where there were none before between the federal government, President Biden, his administration, and our administration. And I want to thank Ali Zaidi for being here to represent the President, but also for making the journey here so often.
And I’ll tell you, we’re just getting started, so we’re going to see you a lot more often. Ladies and gentlemen, Ali Zaidi, President Biden’s Climate Advisor.