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North Country to play big role in Cuomo’s green energy agenda

Cuomo

The North Country figures to play an important — and possibly controversial — role in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s green energy agenda, which he laid out in his third State of the State speech Wednesday.

“We can establish ourselves as the nation’s leader for renewable energy innovation and production,” Cuomo said in a virtual address, “and we will secure the jobs of the future right here at home for New Yorkers.”

Cuomo announced plans for 100 new large-scale renewable projects, many of which are already underway, to help New York reduce its reliance on fossil fuels that cause climate change. The largest entail huge wind tower projects in the ocean off the shore of Long Island. But they also include another new wind project in Lewis County, and new solar installations in Washington and Franklin Counties.

Cuomo also said the state will need new high-tech transmission lines from the Canadian border near Plattsburgh and from Massena to get that power to New York City. He acknowledged that those have been controversial.

“Building transmission capacity is not as easy as it sounds, and it has historically been the single biggest stumbling block,” Cuomo said. “These obstacles may have been too much to take on yesterday. But today’s a new day, and what was impossible yesterday is a necessity.”

Cuomo also mentioned upgrading a major power line in St. Lawrence County. He said the state would also invest in workforce development to train people for green energy jobs and manufacturing.

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