VA, NY Lay Out Aggressive Clean Energy Goals

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled his 2012 energy initiatives, which include $500,000 for wind power development, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

McDonnell said the policies encourage the use of fossil fuels while developing renewable energy sources and promoting efficiency and conservation. He called this an “all-of-the-above” strategy, Bloomberg says.

The funding for offshore wind development is to assist private development. Wind energy proponents say the state has optimal conditions for turbines.

Additional proposals include natural gas, alternative fuel vehicle conversion and energy efficiency programs, Bloomberg says.

According to North American Wind Power, McDonnell also introduced a proposal to spur investment in renewable energy by providing utilities with certificates for investment in research and development.

He said Virginia will continue to fight back against the Obama administration’s decision to keep East Coast energy exploration off limits until at least 2017. Bloomberg reports McDonnell has said the Department of the Interior should allow exploration off Virginia to at least see the potential oil and gas deposits.

North American Wind Power says McDonnell proposed a modification to streamline the 138 kV transmission line approval process and renewable energy development.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also outlined an energy plan in his 2012 State of the State address, including four-fold growth in the state’s solar market by 2013. That’s according to Solar Industry Magazine.

The initiative to boost solar energy in the state includes speeding up commercial scale projects and expanding rebate programs for smaller installations.

Cuomo said the so-called NY-Sun Initiative is capable of doubling the photovoltaic capacity installed last year, Solar Industry says.

Carol Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, told Solar industry about 27 MW of capacity was installed in 2011 and ramping up to 100 MW or more per year is achievable. She also said large commercial and industrial sectors in New York are largely untapped and present great potential.

Cuomo also seeks to create an Energy Highway to spur additional renewable energy efforts, including wind power in upstate New York and hydropower in Quebec, Solar Industry says.

According to, Cuomo’s initiatives also include: improving state parks; offering almost 1 billion dollars in low-cost loans to repair 90 waste water treatment plants; creating green jobs, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; protecting open space and bolstering sustainable agriculture through Farm-NY; and repairing dams and improving flood control.

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