The New York Legislature has reportedly approved a comprehensive energy bill (A. 8510/S. 5844) that would establish a streamlined siting process for new power plants, allow financing of energy-efficiency retrofits and require a study of solar power in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Applicable to power plants with a generating capacity of at least 25 megawatts, the legislation would allow power plant owners to apply for permits to a single multi-agency siting board that would issue a decision within one year. Under the bill’s financing provision, New York would be the first state to allow customers to pay back loans for energy-efficiency retrofits through a charge on their monthly utility bills. Environmental groups, power generators and businesses reportedly support the measure. See BNA Daily Environment Report, June 27, 2011.