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Source: WGRZ Buffalo

Assemblyman Ryan Urges Renewable Energy Focus For Energy Highway Action Plan

BY ASSEMBLYMAN SEAN M. RYAN

Posted: July 30, 2012
Originally Published: July 27, 2012

BUFFALO – Today, July 27, 2012, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan called on New York’s Energy Highway Task Force to make renewable energy a key component of their action plan that will be released this fall.

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo put forward a public-private initiative to upgrade and modernize New York State’s energy infrastructure. The proposal calls for an Energy Highway Action Plan that will be used to modernize energy transmission and generation in New York. This new plan will focus on improving our energy future, creating jobs, encouraging private-sector investment and protecting the State’s environment. The Governor appointed an Energy Highway Task Force consisting of representatives from the New York Power Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Empire State Development, the NYS Public Service Commission, and NYSERDA.

In April, the Energy Highway Task Force began soliciting proposals for ideas that they will incorporate into their Action Plan. Last month, all proposals that were submitted were made available on the New York Energy Highway website. The public comment period for these proposals lasts until July 31st. After public comment is received, the Energy Highway Task Force will begin finalizing their Action Plan, which will be released in the fall.

In a letter to the task force co-chair Gil Quinones, the President and CEO of the New York State Power Authority, Ryan called for renewable energy options such as solar, wind and geothermal to be the main focus of upgrades to New York’s energy infrastructure.

Ryan, a member of the Assembly Energy Committee, made his announcement at Solar Liberty in Williamsville, which has 50 employees and is an industry leader in the installation of solar energy systems. Solar Liberty has installed solar systems in homes, school, businesses, government offices, and colleges and universities throughout Western New York. Ryan was joined by representatives of Solar Liberty, Brian Smith of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment and members of the Sierra Club Niagara Group.

“I commend Governor Cuomo for putting forth an exciting proposal that will help to transform New York’s energy future,” said Ryan. “The Energy Highway Task Force should come up with a plan that encourages private and public sector investment into clean renewable energy. The energy infrastructure of the future in New York is going to be about clean renewable energy and the Energy Highway Task Force Action Plan can help to increase that demand. This action plan has the potential to create thousands of jobs, if smart investments are made. Creating an energy grid that is tailored for wind, solar, and geothermal energy will encourage more people to take advantage of these types of clean renewable energy. And I hope that with increased demand, we can get companies to invest and build solar, wind and geothermal systems right here in Western New York.”

A copy of Assemblyman Ryan’s letter appears below.



July 27, 2012



Gil C. Quinones

Co-Chair, Energy Highway Task Force

President and Chief Executive Officer

New York Power Authority

123 Main Street, 16th Floor

White Plains, NY 10601-3170



Dear Mr. Quinones,

I write today concerning the development of the New York Energy Highway Task Force Action Plan. First I would like to commend Governor Cuomo, you and all other members of the Energy Highway Task Force for putting forth a new and exciting proposal that will help to transform New York’s energy future. When putting together your Action Plan that will be released in the fall, I urge you to make clean renewable energy options such as solar, wind and geothermal the main focus of upgrades to New York’s energy infrastructure.

We need to see an energy infrastructure system in New York that is built to specifically accommodate clean renewable energy. The Energy Highway Task Force should follow the recommendation of groups like the Citizens Campaign for the environment and others, and come up with a plan that encourages private and public sector investment into clean renewable energy. The Action Plan should focus on what can be done to reduce bottlenecks in the system so that in places like Western New York we can produce clean renewable energy both for ourselves, and to send across the state. Most importantly, this plan should be about how best to create jobs. The energy infrastructure of the future in New York is going to be about clean renewable energy, the demand for it is growing every day. The Energy Highway Task Force Action Plan can help to increase that demand. Creating an energy grid that is tailored for wind, solar, and geothermal energy will encourage more people to take advantage of these types of clean renewable energy. And I hope that with increased demand, we can get companies to invest and build solar, wind and geothermal systems right here in New York State. The Action Plan should also focus on storage capacity so that we have the ability to store and properly distribute clean energy from renewables.

Again, the New York Energy Highway Task Force should work diligently to make clean renewable energy the top priority when drafting their plan to modernize New York’s energy future. Investments today in clean renewable energy will pay huge dividends in the future, and make New York a nationwide leader in the energy solutions of tomorrow. I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Sincerely,



Sean M. Ryan

Member of Assembly

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