What is BPRA?
BPRA: The Build Public Renewables Act
The Build Public Renewables Act, or BPRA, empowers the publicly-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build the wind and solar we need, in a process guided by the people.
After 4 years of strategic organizing and public pressure, BPRA was included in the 2023 State Budget, marking the beginning of the Green New Deal in New York.
What does BPRA do?
Mandate to build
NYPA is now authorized and directed by law to build the wind and solar we need to get to 70% renewable generation by 2030 and 100% by 2040, stepping in where the private market has failed (we’re at 4% at time of passing). It lasts until 2035, with a chance for extension (we will extend it).
All NYPA projects and their subsidiaries will be publicly owned. Any and all contracting will be to aid NYPA in scaling up at the pace we need, subject to BPRA’s labor standards. No profiteers here.
Labor & just transition
Workers made the world. Now they’ll save it with standards set by the AFL-CIO that ensure prevailing wage, diversity in hiring, and more. Also establishes the Office of Just Transition to protect NYPA and unionized fossil workers’ pay and benefits while helping them move to renewable roles.
Lower energy bills
Establishes the REACH program to automatically discount energy bills of low or moderate income customers in disadvantaged communities via NYPA’s sales of renewable energy. REACH is opt-out, meaning customers will be automatically enrolled.
Close fossil fuel plants
Seven NYPA-owned peaker plants notorious for their air & climate pollution, located in Black and Brown communities like the Bronx, will be shut down and replaced with renewable generation by 2030, with extremely narrow exceptions.
NYPA is required to work with climate experts, unions, community leaders, and more to create biennial plans for building public renewables, with each plan requiring three public hearings and a 60-day comment period.
The Green New Deal starts here
Passing BPRA is only the first step. The establishment and their billionaire donors still control the levers of power. If we’re going to keep beating them and win ecosocialism, we need to keep going.