The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) praised New York Governor George Pataki for his commitment to a major statewide expansion of Renewable Energy.Albany, New York – January 10, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The trade group said the measure, a renewables portfolio standard (RPS), will ensure that more electricity is generated from wind, biomass and other domestic, non-polluting and renewable sources. The policy was unveiled in the Governor’s State of the State address and will benefit customers in one of the largest state energy markets in the U.S. “Gov. Pataki’s enlightened and forward-looking decision places New York solidly ahead on the path toward a clean and secure energy future,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “The very achievable goal set by the Governor will spur the development of wind power, a power source that is abundant in New York.” AWEA estimates that the Governor’s new initiative will also eventually generate US$300 million a year in income and local tax revenue to farmers and communities that host wind power generators in New York. Farmers earn income from leasing their “wind rights” and continue to grow crops up to the base of the turbines located on their land. The policy also will create thousands of construction jobs. An RPS requires each retail electricity company to use Renewable Energy to supply a small percentage of the power consumed by homes and businesses. Renewable Energy companies bid against each other competitively to provide the required renewable electricity supply. The RPS will be established through action of the New York Public Service Commission, and will increase the percentage of electricity supplied by renewable generation to 25 percent by 2012. Most of the increase is expected to result from wind and biomass energy development. Renewables, including hydro-electric power, currently supply about 17 percent of electricity sold in New York. While some aspects of the policy will be worked out in commission proceedings, NY’s RPS is likely to resemble that established in Texas under former Governor George W. Bush. The Texas RPS caused a rapid increase in wind energy investment and Texas is now the second-largest generator of wind power after California. Recently the NYPSC gave homeowners and businesses the option to purchase Renewable Energy through their regular electricity bill. These programs will continue, and customers will have the option to purchase a higher percentage of renewables in their electric power supply than is required by the RPS.