Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Public Service Commission in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority have opened the competitive solicitation process for large scale Renewable Energy Projects. The two institutions have made $250 million available to invest in Wind, Hydroelectric, Solar, Biomass and other large scale Renewable Energy Projects. NYSERDA Senior Project Manager, Kevin Hale said, "The Renewable Portfolio Standard Program seeks to increase the percentage of electricity that we consume from Renewables to 30% by the year 2015."

The green incentive projects started in 2005, and this is the 6th Competitive Solicitation announcement according to Hale, who said that the state has been successful in growing its wind capacity by a significant percentage, thanks in large part to these types of programs aimed at boosting the use of green energy. He said, since 2005, 39 projects have been selected to receive monetary backing from NYSERDA and many are already operating.

Hale said, "And those projects have delivered short term jobs during the construction phase, new payments for taxes to local jurisdictions such as schools, counties and towns. They've delivered long term jobs. There are folks employed right now servicing these wind farms and servicing these hydroelectric plants." Also, during the construction phase, Hale said, developers purchased materials locally--a move that supports the local economy. Another aspect is the infrastructure projects that were spurred, such as the upgrading of roads and bridges to allow transport of construction materials.

NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. said, "The RPS program has been instrumental in attracting private, green-energy investment here in New York State. By building our clean-energy infrastructure, we will create jobs, improve our environment and strengthen our energy resources." According to the report, "it is estimated that the projects currently in the program will deliver to New York more than $4.5 billion in economic benefits over the next 20 years. These benefits will come in the form of long-term and short-term jobs, property tax payments to local towns, schools, and counties, in-state purchases of goods and services, land lease payments to landowners, and various other economic benefits."

The deadline to participate in the 6th Competitive Solicitation process for large scale green energy projects is February 10th.