Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced plans to expand New York's energy grid to produce at least 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030 as part of broader effort to shift the state to renewable energies and combat climate change.
The proposal is meant to build upon current efforts to expand the use of solar energy in New York, and the administration pledged it could create an additional 6,000 jobs in the industry. The move would exceed the state's goal of 70% of renewal energy sources by the start of the next decade as part of the zero-emission goal.
The announcement on Monday was made as part of climate week and as countries from around the globe gather at the United Nations in New York City to discuss the issue.
"New York State must be more aggressive in setting the bar higher in recognition of the reality of climate change and the closing window of time to stop the worst impacts nationally and globally," Hochul said. "With this expansion, we are demonstrating New York State's commitment to increasing the amount of renewable energy flowing to the electric grid as well as creating more jobs in the solar industry in support of our growing clean energy economy. Climate change is a public health issue - we need to fight with everything we've got in order to ensure generations to come will be able to thrive on a healthy, efficient planet."
But there are critics of the proposal, including Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, who called the plan a missed opportunity because it could create more jobs in the state.
"While today’s renewable energy projects announced by the governor are worthwhile, this was a tremendous missed opportunity to not only increase grid resiliency, but also to promote New York generated power, jobs, and tax revenue," he said. "The Champlain Hudson project, which will originate in Quebec, will send good-paying jobs out of the country rather than to our Upstate communities where they are desperately needed."