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State officials are seeking applications for up to $250 million to fund large-scale clean-energy generation projects – including wind farms, fuel cells, biomass and renewable biogas facilities, and upgrades to small or mid-sized hydropower operations – as part investments to promote renewable energy.

The funds will come from the ninth round of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program. The program’s Main Tier competitive process is designed to support the development of a range of new energy resources, with contracts awarded for up to 20 years, consistent with terms offered by neighboring states. That’s double the duration of prior contracts, at the direction of the State Public Service Commission.

“In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s energy priorities, changes in this solicitation will increase the feasibility of developing large renewable energy generation projects in New York State that will spur economic opportunities,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA.

“We expect this updated program design to attract greater private sector investment to help reduce strain on the electric grid and protect the environment.”

The previous eight rounds of funding under the RPS Main Tier led to 1,900 megawatts of installed capacity at 65 projects, generating more than 4.6 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year.

The state says it gains $3 in economic benefit for every dollar it invests in the projects and anticipates current projects will result in more than $2.7 billion in direct investment in the state from new jobs, payments to governments and other public entities, purchases of goods and services, and land-leases.

“With access to some of the brightest minds in the country, as well as an abundance of renewal natural resources, New York has been a leader in renewable energy development and is committed to building a diversified, modern power grid,” Cuomo said in a release. “This investment will help us reach this goal by driving the development of new projects and boosting economic growth in the process.”

email: jepstein@buffnews.com