NY pledges millions to energy programs

ALBANY— State officials on Wednesday pledged $200 million to help push the state toward a goal of having 30 percent of its energy consumption come from renewable energy resources by 2015.

The funding, which comes from ratepayers and is provided by the state Public Service Commission, will further develop the state's production of electricity by wind, water and biomass. The commission also will provide up to $30 million a year to fund downstate solar energy and fuel-cell projects.

The program "is a key element of the state's strategy for obtaining a more diversified energy portfolio," said Garry Brown, commission chairman. "This initiative not only helps reduce emissions of global warminggasses, it does so at a minimal cost to the state's ratepayers."

Because of the initiative, the average electricity bill will see an increase by 2015 that "will be well under one percent," the commission said.

The program is in conjunction with Gov. David Paterson's goal of using clean energy and improved energy efficiency to produce 45 percent of the state's electricity by 2015. The commission plans to reduce electricity consumption by 15 percent statewide by 2015.

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