Bill Text: NY A09341 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires the office of general services, in consultation with the power authority of the state of New York, to ensure that all operations that power, heat or cool the empire state plaza complex shall entirely use renewable energy systems; requires the office of general services to establish an advisory committee to advise the office of general services on the preparation, design and content of a plan for the use of renewable energy systems.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 23-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-02-23 - referred to governmental operations [A09341 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A09341-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          9341

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    February 23, 2022
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  M. of A. McDONALD, FAHY -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Governmental Operations

        AN ACT to amend the executive law and the  public  authorities  law,  in
          relation to the utilization of renewable energy at state-owned facili-
          ties in Albany

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Renewable
     2  Capitol Act".
     3    § 2. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 204 to  read
     4  as follows:
     5    §  204. Renewable capitol project. 1. For the purpose of this section,
     6  the following terms shall have the following meanings:
     7    (a) The "advisory committee"  shall  mean  the  committee  established
     8  pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section.
     9    (b)  The  "CLCPA" shall mean the New York state climate leadership and
    10  community protection act enacted as chapter one hundred six of the  laws
    11  of two thousand nineteen, as it shall from time to time be amended.
    12    (c) "Co-pollutants" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdi-
    13  vision three of section 75-0101 of the environmental conservation law.
    14    (d)  "Emergency  generator"  shall  mean  the set of diesel generators
    15  located on Sheridan Avenue in Albany, New York as of the effective  date
    16  of  this  section,  that  are  intended  to power the empire state plaza
    17  complex during an emergency fault condition causing an  interruption  to
    18  normal electricity service from the grid.
    19    (e)  "Empire  state  plaza  complex"  or  the "complex" shall mean the
    20  complex of state-owned buildings and the land  thereon  in  Albany,  New
    21  York  that utilize the steam distribution network of the Sheridan Avenue
    22  steam plant, including what are popularly known as Empire  State  Plaza,
    23  the State Capitol Building, the State Museum, the Alfred E. Smith Build-
    24  ing,  the State Education Building, the Sheridan Avenue steam plant, and
    25  the former Albany New York Solid Waste Energy Recovery System  incinera-
    26  tor building.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14244-02-2

        A. 9341                             2

     1    (f)  "Greenhouse  gas"  shall  have  the  same meaning as set forth in
     2  subdivision seven of section 75-0101 of the  environmental  conservation
     3  law.
     4    (g)  The  "local community" shall mean the portion of Albany, New York
     5  designated as the local community under the plan, which  shall  include,
     6  at  a  minimum,  the  Albany Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill, Center Square,
     7  Mansion and South End neighborhoods.
     8    (h) "NYSERDA" shall mean the New York state energy research and devel-
     9  opment authority created under section eighteen hundred fifty-two of the
    10  public authorities law.
    11    (i) The "office of general services" or the "office"  shall  mean  the
    12  agency created under section two hundred of this article.
    13    (j)  The  "plan" shall mean the plan set forth in subdivision three of
    14  this section.
    15    (k) The "project" shall mean  the  work  on  the  empire  state  plaza
    16  complex mandated by this section.
    17    (l)  A  "power purchase agreement" shall mean an agreement between two
    18  parties, the seller and the buyer, to enter  into  a  contractual  obli-
    19  gation for the purchase of electricity.
    20    (m)  "Renewable  energy  systems" means systems that entirely generate
    21  electricity or thermal energy through use of the following technologies:
    22  solar thermal, photovoltaics, on land and offshore wind,  hydroelectric,
    23  geothermal  electric,  geothermal ground source heat, tidal energy, wave
    24  energy, ocean thermal, and fuel cells which do not utilize a fossil fuel
    25  resource in the process of generating electricity or thermal energy.
    26    (n) "Sheridan Avenue steam plant" shall mean the steam plant  facility
    27  owned  by New York state located as of the time of the effective date of
    28  this section at 79 Sheridan Avenue in Albany, New York.
    29    2. (a) Within three years after the effective date  of  this  section,
    30  the office of general services, in consultation with the power authority
    31  of  the  state of New York, shall ensure that all operations that power,
    32  heat or cool the empire state plaza complex shall entirely use renewable
    33  energy systems. In satisfying this requirement, the  office  may  demon-
    34  strate  that  the  amount  of  electrical energy credited to the complex
    35  annually from renewable sources through a power  purchase  agreement  or
    36  similar  instrument  is  not  less  than the amount of electrical energy
    37  consumed annually by the  complex.  Notwithstanding  this  mandate,  the
    38  emergency  generator shall be permitted to utilize non-renewable energy,
    39  but the office shall be empowered to retire  or  convert  the  emergency
    40  generator to wholly or entirely utilize renewables if possible. Further,
    41  the  office shall strongly consider any recommendations made pursuant to
    42  paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section.
    43    (b) The project and the empire state plaza complex shall  comply  with
    44  the  CLCPA,  and  any  rules  and regulations issued thereunder, and, in
    45  particular, section seven of such  law;  the  statewide  greenhouse  gas
    46  emissions  limits  set  forth  in  section  75-0107 of the environmental
    47  conservation law; and the targets  established  in  subdivision  two  of
    48  section sixty-six-p of the public service law. Nothing in this paragraph
    49  shall  preclude the office from mandating lower greenhouse gas emissions
    50  limits or compliance with greenhouse gas emissions limits in  a  shorter
    51  timeframe than set forth in section 75-0107 of the environmental conser-
    52  vation  law,  or  in mandating a higher percentage of renewables or in a
    53  shorter timeframe than in subdivision two of section sixty-six-p of  the
    54  public  service  law. Except in regard to the provision regarding to the
    55  emergency generator as set forth in paragraph (a) of  this  subdivision,
    56  any  action  taken  in  furtherance  of  the  project  that leads to any

        A. 9341                             3

     1  increase in the emissions of greenhouse gases shall be deemed inconsist-
     2  ent with and in interference with the attainment of the statewide green-
     3  house gas emissions limits established in article  seventy-five  of  the
     4  environmental  conservation  law and therefore shall trigger the process
     5  set forth in subdivision two of section seven of the CLCPA.
     6    (c) Any contractor receiving payments for work conducted  pursuant  to
     7  this section shall pay employees and other workers under such contract a
     8  wage  not  less  than the prevailing rates of wages for such work in the
     9  locality where the work is performed, in  conformity  with    prevailing
    10  wage laws.
    11    3.  (a)  Within  one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this
    12  section, the office shall issue a plan in conformity with this  subdivi-
    13  sion and subdivision two of this section.
    14    (b)  Within  sixty  days  of  the  effective date of this section, the
    15  office shall establish an advisory committee to advise it on the  prepa-
    16  ration,  design  and content of the plan.  The advisory committee, whose
    17  members shall be appointed by the  commissioner  of  the  department  of
    18  environmental  conservation in consultation with the president and chief
    19  executive officer of NYSERDA, shall contain, but not be limited  to:  at
    20  least  three representatives of Albany community organizations, at least
    21  two of which are from organizations whose mission, in whole or in  part,
    22  is  to  represent the interests of the Arbor Hill and/or Sheridan Hollow
    23  neighborhoods in Albany; two additional representatives of  local  envi-
    24  ronmental justice organizations; one individual not employed by New York
    25  state with recognized expertise in renewable energy; a representative of
    26  labor organizations; at least one scientist with expertise in energy and
    27  climate policy and the mayor of Albany or his or her designee. The advi-
    28  sory  committee  shall meet at least three times annually, or additional
    29  times as the committee shall by majority vote determine.  At such  meet-
    30  ings, which shall be open to the public, the office, among other things,
    31  shall  report  on the progress made in completing the project and other-
    32  wise implementing this section. The  advisory  committee  members  shall
    33  receive  no  compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for
    34  their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their
    35  duties. All agencies of the state or subdivisions thereof  may,  at  the
    36  request  of the advisory panel or the office, provide the advisory panel
    37  with such facilities, assistance and data as will  enable  the  advisory
    38  panel to carry out its powers and duties.
    39    (c)  Each  member  of  the advisory committee shall be entitled to one
    40  vote.  No action may be taken by the advisory committee unless there  is
    41  a  quorum,  which shall at all times be a majority of the members of the
    42  committee.
    43    (d) The office shall issue a draft plan within one hundred twenty days
    44  after the effective date of this section. The office shall be  transpar-
    45  ent  in  its work to develop the plan and shall maintain a website where
    46  the draft plan and other documents relevant to its development shall  be
    47  posted for public review. The advisory committee shall hold at least two
    48  public  hearings  within thirty days after the release of the draft plan
    49  and prior to the release of the final plan, of which one shall  be  held
    50  in  Arbor  Hill  or  Sheridan Hollow neighborhoods and one shall be held
    51  during the evening or weekend hours. An additional public hearing  shall
    52  also  be  held  within  thirty  days  after the creation of the advisory
    53  committee to receive public input into  the  development  of  the  draft
    54  plan.
    55    (e)  The plan shall contain recommendations on regulatory measures and
    56  other state actions to ensure that the mandates in  subdivision  two  of

        A. 9341                             4

     1  this  section  are  met.  The measures and actions set forth in the plan
     2  shall include:
     3    i.  a timeline for planned steps toward the completion of the project,
     4  including, but not limited to construction of the project and  obtaining
     5  the  necessary permits to begin operation.  The timeline should maximize
     6  the potential for achieving, and if feasible  making  greater  emissions
     7  reductions  than the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits set forth
     8  in section 75-0107 of the environmental conservation law and meeting the
     9  other mandates of the CLCPA;
    10    ii. measures to maximize the benefits to the local community,  includ-
    11  ing prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse gases and co-pollutants and
    12  improving public health in the local community;
    13    iii.  measures  to  optimize  thermal load sharing, energy efficiency,
    14  demand response, and energy conservation;
    15    iv. comprehensive consideration of renewable heat exchange systems  or
    16  a  combination  of such systems to meet the heating and cooling needs of
    17  the empire state plaza complex, including but not limited to: geothermal
    18  heat exchange with the earth, geothermal heat exchange with  the  Hudson
    19  River,  open-loop  and  closed-loop heat exchange with the aquifer, heat
    20  exchange with potable water  supplies,  heat  recovery  from  wastewater
    21  sources, air-source heat pump technology, and thermal storage;
    22    v.  prioritization  of  electricity procurement from renewable sources
    23  within New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Zone  F,  especially
    24  sources  most  capable  of  providing electricity serving real-time load
    25  conditions of the empire state plaza complex. This  shall  include,  but
    26  not  be  limited  to,  consideration of projects that expand electricity
    27  generation from ecologically-responsible, run-of-the-river hydroelectric
    28  facilities within the region; and
    29    vi. prioritization of project implementation efforts to  maximize  the
    30  creation of quality jobs in New York state and the local community.
    31    (f)  The  plan  shall  also designate the geographic boundaries of the
    32  local community. In designating such boundaries, which shall include the
    33  Albany Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill, Center Square, Mansion and South End
    34  neighborhoods, the office shall consider including  in  its  designation
    35  any other communities that experience impacts on their water, air quali-
    36  ty, noise and traffic from the empire state plaza complex.
    37    §  3.   The tenth undesignated paragraph of section 1005 of the public
    38  authorities law, as added by chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, is  amended
    39  to read as follows:
    40    The  authority is further authorized, as deemed feasible and advisable
    41  by the trustees, to acquire,  maintain,  manage,  operate,  improve  and
    42  reconstruct as a project or projects of the authority one or both of the
    43  steam  generation  facilities  owned  by the state known as the Sheridan
    44  [avenue] Avenue steam [generating] plant [on Sheridan avenue in the city
    45  of Albany and used to supply steam to state facilities],  together  with
    46  any  properties,  buildings and equipment at the sites thereof or ancil-
    47  lary thereto, for the generation and sale  of  thermal  energy  and  the
    48  cogeneration  and sale of electricity for use by facilities of the state
    49  within the county of Albany. All the authority's  costs,  including  its
    50  acquisition,  capital,  operating and maintenance costs, shall be recov-
    51  ered fully from the customers receiving service  from  such  project  or
    52  projects.  Thermal  energy and electricity not required by the state may
    53  be sold by the authority to others. The authority is not  authorized  to
    54  use  refuse or refuse-derived fuel in operating the project or projects.
    55  As of the time period specified in paragraph (a) of subdivision  two  of
    56  section  two  hundred  four  of  the  executive  law, all of the energy,

        A. 9341                             5

     1  including but not limited to heat, cooling and electricity, produced  at
     2  the  Sheridan Avenue steam plant shall utilize renewable energy systems.
     3  Any agreement for such acquisition shall insure that  the  authority  is
     4  not  liable  or otherwise responsible for circumstances arising from the
     5  prior operation of such facilities. The acquisition and purchase of such
     6  land, buildings and equipment by the authority, and any actions taken to
     7  effect such  acquisition  and  purchase,  are  hereby  exempt  from  the
     8  provisions  of  article eight of the environmental conservation law. The
     9  application of such exemption shall be strictly limited to the  acquisi-
    10  tion and purchase of such land, buildings and equipment by the authority
    11  and  such  agreements  with  the  state. Nothing herein shall exempt the
    12  authority from  otherwise  applicable  laws  respecting  the  expansion,
    13  conversion, operation and maintenance of such land, buildings and equip-
    14  ment.  For the purposes of this subdivision, the terms "renewable energy
    15  systems" and "Sheridan Avenue steam plant" shall have the same  meanings
    16  as in subdivision one of section two hundred four of the executive law.
    17    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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