The Nature Conservancy Convenes Non-Traditional Partners to Accelerate Large-Scale Wind and Solar Energy Development in New York

A new report from The Nature Conservancy and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York

Albany, NY | October 10, 2017

On Wednesday, October 11, The Nature Conservancy and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York will release a new report, Accelerating Large-Scale Wind and Solar Energy in New York at the Albany Capital Center. To help meet New York’s critical goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a clean energy future, the Conservancy and the Alliance for Clean Energy launched an ambitious initiative to expedite the responsible development of renewable energy in New York.

Called the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable, the initiative was a collaboration among non-traditional partners – energy developers and conservationists, land use planners and agricultural interests, State agencies and government officials. To address climate change and create a reliable low-carbon energy supply, New York State has set bold goals that require a rapid build-out of solar and wind power across New York. However, considerable barriers exist and Roundtable members worked together over a nine-month period to identify obstacles to siting large-scale wind and solar power and develop strategies to overcome the hurdles to help ensure a clean and secure energy future.

We invite you to join us at the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable Report Launch Event:

What: Reception for the Alliance for Clean Energy New York’s 2017 Fall Conference
When: Wednesday, October 11th, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Albany Capital Center, between Hudson Av and Broadway in downtown Albany
Notes: The Roundtable conveners and members will be available for interviews at the event.

The Roundtable successfully focused diverse interests on the question of how to accelerate development of renewables in New York. Thanks to our expert participants, we succeeded in identifying barriers and solutions that will help New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Cara Lee, Renewables on the Ground Roundtable Co-Chair and Senior Conservation Manager, The Nature Conservancy

New York has excellent wind and solar potential, and the Roundtable helped land conservation groups and project developers talk through one another's needs and perspectives. Our productive discussions bode well for both land protection and new investment in wind and solar energy.
- Anne Reynolds, Renewables on the Ground Roundtable Co-Chair and Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York

The Roundtable was an engaging process. It brought together the many interests to be heard and to have a say in building a future of affordable, clean, renewable energy. It is getting us there sooner.
- Tom Tuffey, Principal, Community Energy Solar

States such as New York are showing us the way to respond to climate change by accelerating the development of renewable energy sources responsibly. The Land Trust Alliance applauds the collaborative process that yielded this significant report and can serve as a national model for how to identify a path to meet our clean energy goals while safeguarding conserved lands.
- Andrew Bowman, President, Land Trust Alliance

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the Hudson Valley. Scenic Hudson is committed to developing climate mitigation policies that protect our natural and economic resources and provide a model for how a region responds to climate change. We are grateful for the opportunity given us by The Nature Conservancy and ACE NY to participate in the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable. This important, multi-stakeholder effort will help to increase the amount of clean renewable energy across New York, including in the Hudson Valley, in order to meet State climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Audrey Friedrichsen, Advocacy Attorney, Scenic Hudson

We look forward to using the Roundtable's recommendations in our work advancing clean energy at the local level. By bringing together a variety of stakeholders, this initiative was successful in merging the interests of those in the environmental, municipal and business spheres and will result in more renewable energy projects, creating jobs and new economic development opportunities for New Yorkers while protecting our natural resources.
- Betta Broad, Outreach Director, New Yorkers for Clean Power

The need for communities, businesses and individuals to transition to renewable, less polluting energy sources is a topic and a policy priority that concerns all New Yorkers. We were happy to support the Roundtable’s diverse group of participants in identifying and proposing many shared principles to guide this transition in our state. We intend to help bring these principles to the attention of community leaders around New York state.
- David Kay, Senior Extension Associate, Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI)

Roundtable members met in person four times, and participated in eight smaller working groups that met from November 2016 to 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 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.

For more information on the Roundtable and to read the report, visit


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Sheila Webb-Halpern
Policy & Communications Advisor
(518) 690-7846


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