Feb 162018
 

On February 13th New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) hosted two public webinars to provide an overview of the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

New York State Offshore Wind Energy Plan….and the next steps that New York State will take to advance offshore wind energy development.  To spur the development of renewable resources, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the state will issue solicitations in 2018 and in 2019 for a combined total of at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power.  You can read and download the 53-page comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan here.

Introduction to the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

In light of the Clean Energy Standard mandate, and recognizing the enormous potential renewable energy resource that exists off of its Atlantic coast, New York has set its sights squarely on offshore wind energy as a key component of the State’s clean energy strategy. Governor Cuomo directed the State to engage community members, environmental advocates, and government partners at all levels to create the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan.2 Then, as part of his 2017 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo set a nation-leading offshore wind energy development goal of 2,400 MW by 2030, enough to power up to 1.2 million New York households.

Taking the first step to reach this goal, Governor Cuomo, in his 2018 State of the State Address, called for the procurement of at least 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power between two solicitations to be issued in 2018 and 2019.  In addition, Governor Cuomo directed NYSERDA to invest $15 million in clean energy workforce development and infrastructure advancement to train workers for jobs in this good-paying industry, including offshore wind construction, installation, operation, maintenance, design, and associated infrastructure.  After two years of in-depth research, analysis, and outreach, New York State presents its Offshore Wind Master Plan (Master Plan)—the most comprehensive offshore wind planning process to be undertaken by any state, which charts a course toward achievement of the State’s bold offshore wind energy objectives.

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Feb 012018
 

The start of the New Year was all about standing up and being counted…

Throughout Manhattan VID Members and friends gathered to support progressive agendas.  At the January 11 General Meeting, Erik Coler got the ball rolling on standing up and being counted by introducing his newest idea – posting anti-Trump fliers in coffee shops to stimulate membership in VID.  [Meeting Minutes Here]

Standing Up and Being Counted_DiNapoli

NYS Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli

This meeting also hosted NYS Comptroller Tom DeNapoli who regaled the club with a speech congratulating Jerry Nadler, Brad Hoylman, Deborah Glick, and others. He complimented the VID holiday party and spoke of the intricacies of the comptroller’s office and the financial soundness of the city, then took questions about prison reform, Medicaid and nursing homes.

On the Immigration front, Keen Berger and Erik Bottcher reported on the demonstration for Ravi Ragbir, head of the New Sanctuary Coalition.  Erik Bottcher spoke about the rally, which was attended by Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and during which two Councilmembers, Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, were arrested.  Keen also mentioned Jean Montreal, who also is in danger of deportation.  

The Environmental Committee met on January 19th.  Nat Johnson, Chair of the committee, reported that the Trump administration was undermining EPA regulations, which required public hearings, not being held in New York.  He urged members to register objections at the EPA website.  The night before they had met with the Manhattan Solid Waste Management organization.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo solicited volunteers for the True Blue anti-IDC phone banks.   

On Saturday, January 20th a large number of VID Members and friends gathered for the Women’s March. (See the slideshow for Tony Hoffmann’s pictures).

On January 22, VID Member, Livvey Mann host a second-home registration phone bank. 

On January 25th there was an anti-IDC demonstration in front of Senator Flanagan’s office. 

And, then there were the Inauguration festivities for Councilmember Carlina Rivera and for Council Speaker Corey Johnson (also depicted in the slide show – thank you Tony).

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Dec 212017
 

VID’s Renewable Energy Forum Packed with Details

Renewable Energy_speakers

Nat Johnson, VID’s Environmental Committee Chair; John Franceschina. President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) and Greg Hale. Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor

Nat Johnson, Chair of VID’s Environmental Committee put together an excellent program for December 4th’s Renewable Energy Forum which included speakers from the NYS Reforming Energy Vision (REV) program and the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO).

REV’s 2030 goals include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; 50% of electricity from renewable sources; 23% reduction in energy consumption of buildings from 2012 levels.  Ambitious but as Greg Hale, Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor says, “Doable.”  Their strategy is to support a broad range of renewable options, from rooftop solar panels to grid-scale wind farms, all with an emphasis on integrating these diverse energy sources into the grid. Simultaneously, New York is working to reduce soft costs and other market barriers to make these solutions more competitive in the energy market.  To accomplish this REV has embarked on more than 40 initiatives covering seven categories:

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Building & Energy Efficiency
  3. Clean Energy Financing
  4. Sustainable & Resilient Communities
  5. Energy Infrastructure Modernization
  6. Innovation and R&D
  7. Transportation

You can review Mr. Hales whole presentation, Reforming the Energy Vision – New York Public Service (PowerPoint)

Renewable Energy ForumAnother fast-growing option utilizes Geothermal energy.   John Franceschina, President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) explained the process and benefits for using ground-source heat pumps to heat and cool buildings in New York State.  First, it is a naturally available and steady resource; the earth itself is a solar collector as well as an energy storage system.  Geothermal heat pump (GHP) Systems are extremely scalable, from low income housing to community loops serving multiple buildings on college campuses (such as the Skidmore Energy Node Project).  Since the Renewable Energy Forum,  on December 11, 2017, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and New York State Senator Robert Ortt announced the passage of their new law allowing geothermal heating & cooling systems to be included in New York’s On-Bill Recovery Financing Program.  This program, administered by the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), allows homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profits to finance energy efficiency improvements through a charge on their utility bill.

You can also learn more about the movement toward geothermal energy from The Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE)

OR you can download VID’s Forum Resource sheet.

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Dec 182017
 
VID Officers for 2018_Erik Coler President

Senator Brad Hoylman speaking on the IDC at the December Meeting

Erik Coler topped the list of VID Officers for 2018 as he was re-elected President

Also elected at the December 14 meeting, as VID officers for 2018 were Vice Presidents, Jennifer Hoppe and two new Vice Presidents, Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirigo.  All three have been ardent campaigners for local candidates as well as frequent volunteers in Up-State New York, Pennsylvnia, Virginia and Georgia.  We are now, officially, infused with exceptional energy and Democratic commitment for another momentous year.

At the January General Membership Meeting candidates for Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Committee will be elected.

Other Topics

Other initiatives discussed from the Dec. 14th agenda included Brad Hoylman speaking about the negotiations in the NYS Senate regarding the IDC; Laurie Hardjowirigo gave the Voter Reform Committee Report; Nat Johnson gave the Environmental Committee Report by stressing what was learned at the December 4 Future of Renewable Energy Forum; Erik Coler of Affordable Housing recapped the year’s achievements by saying this year 42 units had been re-stabilized and he was hoping next year to add 90 more.  

Carlina Rivera, our new City Council member, gave a short speech in which she thanked the VID for its incredible support in her campaign.  She won the Primary with 60% of the vote, the General with 80%. 

Tony Hoffmann explained the new revised constitutional amendment and the process involved.  After reading the amendment, it passed overwhelmingly with one opposed.

Erik Coler introduced the Final Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Resolution.  Tony thanked Zella Jones, Marlene Nadle, Judy Wessler, Susan Gottesman, Alec Pruchnicki, Barbara Ruether, Jim Yates, and Jonathan Geballe.  After some discussion, in which some errors were discovered, a proposal was made to send the resolution back to committee.  This was passed unanimously.

You can read the full meeting minutes here.

 

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