The Government of New York has unveiled plans to build more than 20 renewable energy projects across the state this year.

The projects include the first utility-scale solar project in upstate New York, which will enter its final construction phase.

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Renewable energy projects are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs and attract almost $1.5bn in private investment.

The announcement was made by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on 22 April, marking Earth Day.

Cuomo said: “New York State’s economy faces huge challenges from both the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis, and renewable energy has a vital role to play in our state’s ongoing convalescence and economic recovery.

“These large-scale renewable projects will foster much-needed investment and thousands of good-paying jobs across New York as we continue to rebuild the state’s economy with green energy.

“We’re strengthening our commitment to renewable energy by creating new private-public partnerships, which can accelerate the development of these critical resources to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change.”

The projects will generate enough clean energy to power more than 320,000 New York homes and offset one million metric tons of carbon emissions a year.

The latest announcement is part of the state’s goal to source 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

Cuomo also announced the launch of New York’s fifth annual solicitation, said to be the state’s largest land-based procurement to date, for large scale renewable projects.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) president and CEO Doreen Harris said: “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to growing New York’s green economy is demonstrated by the state’s significant pipeline of large-scale renewable projects now entering construction, including this first upstate utility-scale solar project.

“This will help to power dozens of upstate communities with clean, renewable energy while bringing new jobs and economic benefits.”

Last April, the government passed legislation to speed up the siting and construction of large-scale clean energy projects, in an effort to help the sector recover from the Covid-19 outbreak and meet climate targets.