New York creates $5M fund for communities facing fossil fuel power plant closures

Yesterday, New York State announced $5 million for the Just Transition Site Reuse Planning Program to help communities facing fossil fuel power plant closures with site reuse planning and support.

The program will provide eligible communities with the help they need to begin charting a viable path forward through site reuse planning services from designated experts, the development of a toolkit as a resource, and enhanced assistance for disadvantaged communities.

Under the new program, which NYSERDA and the New York State Energy Research will administer, a toolkit will be developed that can be used as an online resource for communities looking for tools and information on local, regional, state, and federal programs to assist communities with economic development, brownfield reuse, and other aspects supporting successful site redevelopment.

Eligible communities are local governments that have a fossil fuel power plant located in their community, including those that have had a power plant close in the last five years, are facing current or future known closures, or are home to other operating fossil fuel facilities that commenced operations prior to 1990. Applicants may apply for services, which NY says are valued up to $150,000. Awards will be scaled based on site characteristics, and areas where plant closures impact a disadvantaged community may qualify for additional assistance valued at up to $10,000. 

Planning services may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • site reuse planning
  • environmental assessments
  • economic analysis
  • demolition and abatement assessments, and
  • public health impact evaluation

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until August 5, 2024, or until funds are no longer available. Municipal governments can learn more about the program and apply here.

Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act calls for a carbon-free electrical grid by 2040 – but getting there requires exchanging our aging power plants for a green, sustainable future. This funding will help communities plan for the transformation of its power plants and make bold plans for the future.”

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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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