Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law that will not only govern where power plants can be located, but will also streamline the permitting process.
Locally, it means the state has the authority to take approval of energy projects out of the hands of local leaders and put it in the hands of a new board in Albany.
This is especially controversial when it comes to wind farms.
For years, local town halls have been the place to debate wind power issues like noise, appearance and property values.
But now the state is giving a new board in Albany to final say over approval of energy projects like wind farms.
That may be good news to those who feel New York is lagging in energy production, but not so good news to anti-wind activists.
Cuomo acknowledged Thursday that power projects are often controversial. But, he said, “Just because you have some opposition to a proposal shouldn’t mean, de facto, that the proposal stops.”
“This is essential, to have gotten this passed, to try to fuel – pardon the pun – economic development efforts underway.”
Cuomo maintains the new law gives both power plant supporters and opponents a fair say.
The goal of Power NY is to allow New York to increase its power production.
Cuomo also announced a plan allowing homeowners and businesses to borrow for the cost of energy efficiency projects.
The Power NY Act will allow for the first power plants to be built in New York since a previous law expired in 2003.
The law include several new environmental protection measures.
The new program for homeowners and businesses will allow them to take out low-interest loans from the state for energy efficiency improvements and pay back the loans through their utility bills.
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