Governor Andrew Cuomo this week announced the first transactions of the New York Green Bank to kick off clean energy projects across the state. These initial transactions are expected to produce investments totaling more than $800 million.
NY Green Bank is part of New York State's Clean Energy Fund, which aims to provide long-term funding certainty and flexibility in how the state will transform its clean energy economy. New York is one of a handful of states to create a government-operated financial institution aimed at cultivating private clean energy projects.
Alfred Griffin is president of the NY Green Bank. "NY Green Bank expands investment opportunities for clean energy projects in New York State by mobilizing greater private investment in creditworthy projects."
Projects that are traditionally difficult for the private sector to finance will now be possible by NY Green Bank’s participation and are expected to result in an annual reduction of 575,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
Griffin says "It is using public dollars to incentivize greater private sector participation in supporting clean energy markets. This will ultimately help us move toward a more robust industry, less dependent on government subsidies and ratepayer support."
The bank is on track to help carry the Empire State's "energy reputation." New York, along with Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, ranks among the top 10 most energy-efficient states, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's "State Energy Efficiency Scorecard."
Kathleen Hogan is chairwoman of the board and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She says clean energy projects build jobs and help address climate change. "The states at the top of the list are really spurring great benefits across their states, and of course it means the other states have a lot of remaining opportunity to do so."
The total estimated carbon dioxide reduction from the $800 million in investments is roughly equal to taking 120,000 cars off the road or planting 15 million trees annually. Griffin notes "All transactions will result in reduced greenhouse gases."