A woman stands on the ground in between two solar arrays wearing a reflective orange vest and a construction hard hat, looking to the upper lefthand side of the screen.
Laura Crane The Nature Conservancy’s Laura Crane visits a solar project under construction. © Dave Lauridsen

Stories in New York

Accelerating Large-Scale Wind and Solar Energy in New York

A Report from the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable

To address climate change, New York State has set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner and more resilient energy future. The Renewable Energy Standard, a mandate to meet the State’s goal of getting 70 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030, will require a rapid build-out of solar and wind power across New York.

Collaborating to Advance Renewable Energy Development

To help meet New York’s ambitious goals and support the responsible development of clean energy, the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable brought together diverse stakeholders to identify obstacles to siting large-scale wind and solar power and develop strategies to overcome the hurdles to help the State meet its Renewable Energy Standard.

Led by The Nature Conservancy and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the Roundtable was a collaboration among non-traditional partners – land use planners and conservationists, wind and solar developers, agricultural interests, regulators, and local and state government officials. The Consensus Building Institute facilitated the Roundtable.

Roundtable members met in person four times, and participated in eight smaller working groups that met over a nine-month period from November 2016 - June 2017. The working groups looked at issues related to land use, agriculture, community engagement, environmental justice and equity, regulations, taxation, economics, and transmission. Based on key findings, the Roundtable members agreed upon ten principles and a series of policy recommendations to reduce barriers to large-scale renewable energy siting while mitigating impacts on the ground.

Accelerating the development of renewable energy will require the commitment and collective action by diverse stakeholders. It is our hope that the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable report will stimulate dialogue and action, and help facilitate a path forward to help ensure the success of the Renewable Energy Standard while preserving New York’s vital natural, agricultural, and community resources.