The Billion-Dollar Debate Splitting New York’s Renewable Energy Industry

Source: New York Focus


It’s been the fight of the summer in renewable energy world. Will states shell out more cash to solar and wind developers who won contracts before pandemic-related inflation slammed their projects? Trade groups for the developers argue that the subsidy hikes are the only way to keep planned renewables afloat and get them built in time to meet rapidly approaching climate deadlines. 

Others aren’t so sure. In a recent filing to New York regulators, one commenter dismisses the renewable energy lobby’s premise as “demonstrably false” and says the requested hikes would impose “artificially high” costs on ordinary New Yorkers.

It’s a familiar argument, echoing those made by manufacturers that often spar with climate hawks over clean energy costs. Except this time, the opposition is coming from a developer itself — and a member of the very trade group it’s arguing against. 

aes, a major energy company that owns utilities, power plants, and renewables around the world, is one of the biggest wind and solar companies operating in New York. It owns roughly a third of the state’s existing wind farms, and says it has more than two gigawatts’ worth of new wind, solar, and storage on the way. Like many of its competitors, it’s a member of the Alliance for Clean Energy (ace) New York, which serves primarily as a trade group for renewable developers, though it also counts environmental advocates and others among its ranks.

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