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NYS putting another $250 million into alternative energy

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New York State is putting another $250 million into alternative energy projects around the state, especially Upstate.

It's part of a long-running process ordered by the Public Service Commission and run by the State Energy Research and Development Authority. 

The chosen projects will be announced by early summer and are supposed to be generating electricity by May 1 of next year.  The state is currently buying power from two biomass plants,  10 landfill biogas plants, 25-hydroelectric facilities and 17 wind farms. 

Funding for these renewable projects is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).  

NYSERDA president and CEO Frank Murray said his agency is also helping the NRG power plant in Dunkirk convert from coal to natural gas.

“The RPS program has allowed New York State to expand its clean-energy economy by attracting private investment in these medium and large renewable energy projects, which are creating jobs and providing environmental benefits for local communities,” said Murray.  

Murray said these plants produce electricity more cheaply, which lowers electric bills and make the country more independent of off-shore oil. The state is buying more and more power from generating stations fed by gas from landfills. 

Murray said it's not clear if any wind farms will be proposed this time because of concern over tax law and tax subsidy changes in Washington. 

The RPS funding recipients are expected to be announced by summer 2013.

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