Energy policy first. Renewables take up a lot more land per unit of generation than gas or nuclear power plants. But land use is generally subject to local control. Think Parks & Rec with all the earnestness but none of the laughter.
NY law mandates that 70% of electricity come from renewables by 2030; in 2018, NY hit just 26% (including hydro). So, a massive renewables deployment needs to happen fast.
Article 10, NY’s old siting law, wasn’t drafted for renewables, speed, or getting to yes with landowners/localities. And the agency charged w/ implementing Art 10 processed applications from developers & appeals from opponents—it didn’t do much outreach.
The big challenge of economic recovery is turning public $$$ into sustained economic activity. “Shovel ready projects” was the 2008-crash shorthand for this...
So, New York wanted speedy renewables siting for one reason; now covid-19 provides another that’s no less compelling. Is the siting law a covid-recession-recovery measure? Whether it was thought of that way when someone initially wrote it down, it sure is now.
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