Petition Closed
Petitioning Co-Chair, WNY Regional Economic Development Council Satish K. Tripathi and 23 others

Governor Cuomo: Facilitate Feed-in Tariffs for New York


Dear Governor Cuomo,

 

Like you, we want to revitalize the economy of New York State (NYS). We want to encourage businesses that will create JOBS. We also want to protect NYS from the ongoing challenges of rising fuel costs and changing climate.

 

Feed-in tariffs (FITs) have proven again and again to be the most efficient way to promote rapid development of renewable energy, job growth, and business investment in jurisdictions ranging from cities to countries. As explained in our brief, clearly written, illustrated brochure at http://bit.ly/nyfeedin, FITS are neither taxes nor direct subsidies. They are long-term (usually 20-year) contracts in which a utility such as the New York Power Authority (NYPA) promises to pay a fixed rate for electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass or biogas. The rate differs for each type of renewable energy; it is based on the cost of production plus a reasonable (5-10%) profit. The stability of FITs permits electricity producers at all scales, from homeowners with a few solar panels to large wind farms, to easily obtain financing to initiate their projects--and thus to get the economy moving.

 

As an example of economic stimulation, Ontario Province, our neighbor, generated more than 20,000 new jobs and brought in more than $20 billion in new investments since starting its feed-in tariff program in 2009. In the process, it generated so much renewable energy that it's on track to eliminate its last coal-fired generation plant in 2014.

 

FITs are supported entirely by small charges to electric ratepayers. Ontario's successful program is costing ratepayers approximately the price of one Tim Horton's donut per month (http://www.wind-works.org/FeedLaws/Canada/OntarioFITsCreatingSolarJobs.html).

 

The Niagara Group of the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club, the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers and many others feel that a pilot FIT project in Western New York (WNY) would rapidly demonstrate the desirability of instituting FITs throughout New York State.

 

We think you agree, because on April 19 you announced your NY-SUN Initiative, which includes a pilot FIT for solar development on Long Island.

 

We are proposing a similar, but broader (including wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass and biogas, as well as solar) FIT pilot project in WNY. We hope that, by January 2013, you will direct NYPA to issue FIT contracts for electricity from renewable sources within NYISO Zone A, which includes all or parts of 11 New York counties, all in WNY. We suspect that, within a year or two, the advantages of such a broad FIT program will have become obvious to all stakeholders, and you will then wish to extend the program to all of NYS.

Letter to
Co-Chair, WNY Regional Economic Development Council Satish K. Tripathi
Co-Chair, WNY Regional Economic Development Council Howard A. Zemsky
New York State Senate District 57 Senator Catherine Young
and 21 others
New York State Senate District 58 Senator Timothy Kennedy
New York State Senate District 60 Senator Mark Grisanti
New York State Senate District 61 Senator Michael Ranzenhofer
New York State Senate District 62 Senator George Maziarz
New York State Assembly District 141 Honorable Crystal Peoples-Stokes
New York State Assembly District 142 Honorable Jane Corwin
New York State Assembly District 143 Honorable Dennis Gabryszak
New York State Assembly District 144 Honorable Sean Ryan
New York State Assembly District 145 Honorable Michael Kearns
New York State Assembly District 146 Honorable Kevin Smardz
New York State Assembly District 147 Honorable Daniel Burling
New York State Assembly District 148 Honorable Raymond Walter
New York State Assembly District 149 Honorable Joe Giglio
New York Congressional District 26 Representative Kathy Hochul
New York Congressional District 27 Representative Brian Higgins
New York Congressional District 29 Representative Tom Reed
Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo
Senior Vice President, Regional Economic Development, Empire State Development Corporation Sam Hoyt
State Representative Robin Schimminger
Representative Louise Slaughter
State Senator Patrick Gallivan
I just signed the petition described below. Although the petition is addressed primarily to Governor Cuomo, we hope you'll help by communicating to the Governor that you, too, strongly support the petition's request that he direct NYPA to initiate a broad program of feed-in tariffs in WNY NYISO Zone A (all or portions of 11 counties in WNY) as a pilot project to test the feasibility of feed-in tariffs for the entire state.


Here's the explanatory text in the petition, which you can find online at http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-cuomo-facilitate-feed-in-tariffs-for-new-york:


"Dear Governor Cuomo,

"Like you, we want to revitalize the economy of New York State (NYS). We want to encourage businesses that will create JOBS. We also want to protect NYS from the ongoing challenges of rising fuel costs and changing climate.

"Feed-in tariffs (FITs) have proven again and again to be the most efficient way to promote rapid development of renewable energy, job growth, and business investment in jurisdictions ranging from cities to countries. As explained in our brief, clearly written, illustrated brochure at http://bit.ly/nyfeedin, FITS are neither taxes nor direct subsidies. They are long-term (usually 20-year) contracts in which a utility such as the New York Power Authority (NYPA) promises to pay a fixed rate for electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass or biogas. The rate differs for each type of renewable energy; it is based on the cost of production plus a small profit. The stability of FITs permits electricity producers at all scales, from homeowners with a few solar panels to large wind farms, to easily obtain financing to initiate their projects--and thus to get the economy moving.

"As an example of economic stimulation, Ontario Province, our neighbor, generated more than 20,000 new jobs and brought in more than $20 billion in new investments since starting its feed-in tariff program in 2009. In the process, it generated so much renewable energy that it's on track to eliminate its last coal-fired generation plant in 2014.

"FITs are supported entirely by small charges to electric ratepayers. The charges are so small that they are sometimes more than compensated by the fact that renewable energy is much less expensive than "peaking power," which is needed when there isn't enough lower-priced power to supply customer needs. Did you know that during 2010 the availability of wind energy in Western New York (WNY) saved ratepayers more than $31 million? You can learn the details at http://newyork.sierraclub.org/windenergysaved31million.htm.

"The Niagara Group of the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club, the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers and many others feel that a pilot FIT project in WNY would rapidly demonstrate the desirability of instituting FITs throughout New York State.

"We think you agree, because on April 19 you announced your NY-SUN Initiative, which includes a pilot FIT for solar development on Long Island.

"We are proposing a similar, but broader (including wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass and biogas, as well as solar) FIT pilot project in WNY. We hope that, by January 2013, you will direct NYPA to issue FIT contracts for electricity from renewable sources within NYISO Zone A, which includes all or parts of 11 New York counties, all in WNY. We suspect that, within a year or two, the advantages of such a broad FIT program will have become obvious to all stakeholders, and you will then wish to extend the program to all of NYS."


Sincerely,