Invenergy today announced a large renewable project proposal for Long Island. The project, Clean Energy Link, consists of four new wind and two new solar farms located within the 12-state PJM regional power market, with a combined capacity exceeding 700 megawatts. All the renewable energy from these projects will be joined into a single portfolio and delivered to Long Island from PJM via a new buried HVDC transmission line, ending at a net-zero converter station on Long Island.
The wind and solar projects will be built across more than 55,000 acres in rural areas in multiple states where land is less expensive and more readily available. This innovative portfolio approach provides economies of scale and unprecedented diversification in technology and geography that will deliver residents of Long Island reliable, clean renewable power at the lowest cost possible.
Invenergy is offering the Clean Energy Link in response to Governor Cuomo's 50 by 30 goal – securing 50 percent of the State's energy from renewables by 2030 – and his decision to make that goal binding across New York. With that mandate, the State must develop, deploy and import renewable energy in greater quantities, over shorter time periods, than it has ever done before.
The Clean Energy Link will triple Long Island's renewable resources portfolio. The project will move Nassau and Suffolk from 3 percent in 2015 to more than 10 percent when its power begins to reach Long Island in late 2020 — an important first step to begin to meet the Governor's Clean Energy Standard.
"We're here today because of Governor Cuomo's commitment to the environment and to securing electricity from renewables at an unprecedented scale," said Michael Polsky, Invenergy's founder and CEO. "Innovation is in our DNA and we answered his call for new thinking. This portfolio approach is unique and offers renewables at a scale that makes a difference and at a price people can afford. Pairing renewable energy with new dedicated transmission will bring low cost wind and solar energy to where it is needed in densely populated areas such as Long Island and New England."
Kevin Law, the CEO of the Long Island Association, noted that "Long Island and all of New York need out-of-the-box thinking to meet the challenge of 50 by 30. I applaud Invenergy's innovative portfolio approach and all projects that can bring renewable energy to Long Island at affordable prices."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone added, "This approach balances our need to be a leader in supporting clean energy to tackle climate change which threatens our coastlines and overcomes the challenges of producing large scale renewable power on Long Island."
"There is a clear understanding amongst Long Islanders that we need more green energy sources," said Dick Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. "This has been a priority for nearly a decade, but a persistent challenge given Long Island's limited open space. Now Long Islanders can access renewable energy while preserving our open space. It's a win-win."
"Long Island has never had an opportunity like the Clean Energy Link. In a single stroke, the Clean Energy Link will more than triple the green energy supply to Long Island," said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "It's a big step forward for Long Island and means we can stop talking about meeting the Governor's 50 by 30 and begin actually achieving it."
Neal Lewis, executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College said, "Clean energy is our future, and the Clean Energy Link is certainly something to move forward on. If Long Island is going to meet the Governors 50 by 30 mandate, massive amounts of renewable energy are needed. In addition to roof-top solar and on-island solar farms, projects like the Clean Energy Link and off-shore wind must move forward. We must seriously consider all renewable options if we are going to have a clean energy future."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright added, "Long Island is determined to protect our environment, and Governor Cuomo's 50 by 30 mandate is the vehicle that ensures innovative methods for securing renewable energy is a part of the equation. Long Islanders have long sought clean energy via wind and solar projects, but the proposal by Invenergy allows us to make a significant step forward without sacrificing open space as a consequence."
"Building the Clean Energy Link is the most affordable way to quickly bring new renewable energy to Long Island," said Dick O'Kane, president of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council. "The Clean Energy Link will put Long Islanders to work to provide the region with affordable and reliable clean energy."
Assemblyman Dean Murray stated, "The Clean Energy Link demonstrates what the private sector can do, in conjunction with government efforts, to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy for Long Island. It's a win for my constituents and residents all throughout Long Island."
"The scale of these projects show what the private sector can do when given the right incentives," said Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci. "An approach that provides affordable renewable energy for families and business, and keeps Long Island competitive, is a win-win."
Sammy Chu, Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council-Long Island Chapter said, "The Clean Energy Link is an important step forward for Long Island. It ensures a more sustainable energy future, and its innovative net-zero converter station is a great example of the type of responsible development that Long Island needs."
DuWayne Gregory, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature added, "A project like the Clean Energy Link is long overdue for Long Island. This important effort will bring clean energy at an affordable price, and at a scale that makes a difference for the environment."
"All across Long Island there are people calling out for more renewable energy," stated Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. "It is important that we evaluate and build all feasible renewable projects to achieve the Governor's 50% renewable energy mandate."
Lucas Sanchez, Long Island director for New York Communities for Change said, "The Clean Energy Link offers access to renewable energy at a more affordable price to ratepayers than any other project can offer. Steps like these help offset the dangerous effects of climate change by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels."
Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams added, "The Clean Energy Link brings Long Island closer to meeting Governor Cuomo's 50 by 30 mandate, while also preserving Nassau County's open space. It's a win-win for both the community and the environment."
"It's encouraging to see examples where government and the private sector can come together to meet the demanding challenges our community faces. Providing the technology and access to clean, renewable energy at scale is milestone for Nassau County," said Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages.
"Increasing investments in renewables to fight climate change is a commitment we take seriously in Suffolk County," said Richard Schaffer, Babylon town supervisor. "We look forward to working with Invenergy on this project to make Governor Cuomo's 50 by 30 vision a reality."
Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said, "The Clean Energy Link project is an exciting opportunity to help address Long Island's future energy needs and fulfill Governor Cuomo's ambitious mandate of having 50 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by the year 2030. Long Island ratepayers, and our environment, should benefit from this project becoming part of the area's energy mix."