New York lawmakers are considering legislation that would drastically build out the state’s renewable energy offerings, a step toward a future in which some activists believe energy utilities could be fully renewable and municipally owned.
The New York Build Public Renewables Act (Assembly Bill A1466A ) would enable the New York Power Authority (NYPA)—the largest state public utility in the country—to develop and operate utility-scale renewable energy projects while requiring it to phase out fossil fuel infrastructure by 2025.
The bill was introduced in January by State Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblymember Robert Carroll, and is championed by the Public Power NY Coalition —a statewide collective of environmental justice organizations that includes several Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapters and the NY Energy Democracy Alliance . It is less radical than a previously considered piece of legislation that would have transitioned control over utilities to the state while banning for-profit energy service companies like National Grid and Con Edison.
Advocates believe the passage of the Build Public Renewables Act would represent a first meaningful step toward climate action more than two years after the passage of New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Passed in 2019, the CLCPA established a set of legally-binding environmental targets requiring 70 percent of New York’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2030 in order to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050.