N.Y. Power Authority Approves New Strategic Plan to Provide Clean Energy Roadmap for Next Decade

  • December 09, 2020
  • News
N.Y. Power Authority Approves New Strategic Plan to Provide Clean Energy Roadmap for Next Decade
N.Y. Power Authority Approves New Strategic Plan to Provide Clean Energy Roadmap for Next Decade

The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Board of Trustees yesterday approved a new strategic plan, VISION2030, which provides a roadmap for transforming the state’s energy infrastructure to a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade. VISION2030 highlights NYPA’s commitment to partnering with statewide customers to ensure a cost-effective transition to clean energy while simultaneously moving the state ahead in meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s climate leadership targets under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the most ambitious clean energy legislation in the nation.
 
“With the approval of VISION2030, we are proud to again lead by example to meet the energy demands and challenges of the next decade,” said NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel. “While continuing to provide affordable, reliable and clean electricity, we will increasingly partner with our customers to transform the way they are using energy and move aggressively toward the Governor’s climate leadership targets. That will ensure we even more effectively deploy our assets and expertise to power New York’s economy and further stimulate and enable job creation and capital investment around the state.”
 
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the state has set timetables for decarbonizing its electricity system including moving toward 70 percent renewables by 2030; 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 and a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. VISION2030 includes a path to decarbonization by transitioning NYPA’s natural gas plants to low or zero carbon emission technologies and committing to supplying its customers with carbon-free electricity by 2035, five years ahead of the goal of carbon-free electricity by 2040. The roadmap further details NYPA’s plans to deploy a vast, improved transmission network across the state to enable new, additional renewable energy to come onto the electric grid, and to preserve the steadfast role of clean hydropower as the state’s renewable energy base. 
 
“NYPA will play a significant role in achieving this vision for New York State and will facilitate our customers’ journeys to a thriving, carbon-free economy," said NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones. "We have fulfilled the original ambitions of our VISION2020 and created a stronger and more agile organization. Climate change continues to greatly influence our work and we will aggressively pursue decarbonization while at the same time enhancing the state’s ability to have a thriving economy–thus creating a blueprint for others to follow.”
 
VISION2030 focuses on five strategic priorities to achieve the clean energy goals of NYPA’s customers and the state. They include NYPA’s intention to:

  • Partner with customers to deliver clean and affordable energy solutions.

  • Pioneer the path to decarbonization while ensuring reliability, resilience and affordability of the state’s electric grid.

  • Facilitate the rapid development of transmission assets.

  • Preserve the value of hydroelectric generation; and adaptively reimagine the New York State canal system.

These strategic priorities will be supported by NYPA’s recently approved four-year financial plan, which includes five foundational pillars: becoming the first end-to-end digital utility; achieving best-in-class environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and reporting; establishing a leadership role in diversity, equity and inclusion priorities; bolstering enterprise resilience; and continuing progress with process excellence, workforce planning and knowledge management.
 

Partnering with customers to meet their energy goals while advancing CLCPA

NYPA will partner with its customers and the state to meet their individual energy goals in alignment with the CLCPA by providing clean and affordable energy, along with innovative, integrated customer solutions. Continuing its role as a trusted energy advisor, NYPA will help its customers decarbonize by working with them to realize climate leadership projects in energy efficiency, renewables generation, optimized electrification and digitization. Through this transformation, a 70% renewable energy supply will be provided by 2030 in a cost-effective manner. NYPA also will enable 325 MW of distributed and customer-sited solar by 2025 and facilitate 450 MW of storage projects by 2030. In addition, to advance e-mobility across the state, the transition to electric vehicles is being accelerated through the installation of charging stations for EV drivers, including chargers built for transit agencies to electrify buses, and through EVolve NY, NYPA’s public fast charging network.
 

Pioneering the path to decarbonization

NYPA will lead by example and pioneer the path to decarbonization by acting as a testbed for innovation while ensuring reliability, resilience, and affordability of the state’s energy grid. To lead the transition from natural gas to even cleaner electricity, NYPA will be a first mover in developing and demonstrating new low-to-zero carbon technologies and short- and long-duration battery storage. NYPA will evaluate the economic performance of its gas fleet and pursue a collaborative approach with policy makers, community members and the private sector as it advocates for market rules and policies and aims to achieve zero-carbon emissions by 2035, ahead of the Governor’s 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040  goal. NYPA also will lead by example in committing to supply its customers with carbon-free electricity by 2035.
 
NYPA recently signed an agreement with environmental justice groups to assess how its natural gas-fired ‘peaker’ plants, six in New York City and one on Long Island, can be transitioned to utilize clean energy technologies while continuing to meet the unique electricity reliability and resiliency requirements of New York City. Potential siting of battery storage and hydrogen blending at the plants is under consideration.
 

Growing transmission to connect renewables

As part of VISION2030, NYPA aims to be the leading transmission developer, owner and operator for New York State. Building new transmission infrastructure to move distant renewable energy resources is critical to the integration of renewables, such as land-based and off-shore wind and solar, into the bulk power system and achieving the goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
 
Three major projects to help the state meet its changing transmission needs are currently underway:
 

  • Replacement of the 86-mile-long Moses-Adirondack transmission lines that run from Massena to Croghan in the North Country. The $484 million SmartPath project will allow for greater transmission of energy from renewable sources.

  • Upgrade of the Marcy to New Scotland transmission line with LS Power Grid New York. The Mohawk Valley to Capital Region transmission line will relieve bottlenecks in high-voltage transmission and increase access to renewable energy sources.

  • Commencement of the Northern New York transmission initiative, the first priority transmission project under the 2020 Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. In addition to unbottling existing renewable energy in the region, NYPA estimates the Northern New York project will result in cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreased transmission congestion.

 
Preserving hydropower as a renewable foundation for the state

NYPA will preserve and enhance the value of NYPA’s hydropower assets, which account for approximately 25 percent of New York State’s electricity, as a continued core source of carbon-free power and as a source of flexibility and resilience as the state’s grid evolves. Retaining assets in good repair, actively advocating for policy and market rules recognizing hydro benefits to the grid and evaluating alternative contracting or offtake arrangements will help optimize the benefit of hydropower for New Yorkers.
 
A 15-year, $1.1 billion life extension and modernization program, first announced in July 2019, is currently underway to significantly extend the operating life of NYPA’s flagship Niagara Power Project, the largest source of clean electricity in New York State and one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the U.S.


Reimagine the canals

In VISION2030, NYPA and the Canal Corporation reimagine the New York Canal System for the economic and recreational benefit of New Yorkers while driving operational efficiency. NYPA will continue to reinvigorate the New York State canal system primarily through the Reimagine the Canals initiative announced by Governor Cuomo earlier this year. This initiative is designed to celebrate the history and legacy of one of the state’s most iconic landmarks by increasing outdoor recreation, supporting responsible environmental stewardship, and developing new opportunities to better serve communities along the Canal corridor. Simultaneously, NYPA and the Canal Corporation will work to ensure that these investments safeguard the Canal’s role as a driver of economic growth for New York State.
 

About NYPA

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no state tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.


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