Plan includes repowering old coal plants, 1 GW of new transmission lines, 270 MW of new renewable sources, and study of offshore wind.
(Press release, Oct 23) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today received the Energy Highway Task Force’s Blueprint, a comprehensive plan that will add up to 3,200 megawatts (MW) of additional electric generation and transmission capacity and clean power generation through up to $5.7 billion in private investments. The 3,200 MW outlined in this blueprint would provide enough energy to power approximately 3.2 million homes.
The Energy Highway initiative, introduced in the 2012 State of the State address, is a centerpiece of the Governor’s Power NY agenda, which was put in place to ensure that New York’s energy grid is the most advanced in the nation and promotes increased business investment in the state.
“As we work to grow New York’s economy, we need reliable, affordable, and clean power to leverage significant private sector investments, to allow businesses to grow, and to create jobs,” Governor Cuomo said. “The energy highway will ensure that businesses and residential consumers across New York State have access to the affordable power they need to plan for not just today, but also for the future. An economy built to last requires a power infrastructure that gives businesses the confidence and security they need to hire new workers and plan for years to come, and this Blueprint continues to position New York State as a national leader in clean energy production and investment.”
The Blueprint includes specific actions designed to add up to 3,200 MW in new generation and transmission, including plans to:
• Invest $1 billion for 1000 MW of new electric transmission capacity
• Initiate $250 million in new renewable energy projects, leveraging $425 million in private investment and creating 270 MW of new power
• Modernize and repower existing inefficient, high emission plants to create 750 MW of power, enabled by approximately $1.5 billion investment. (Editor’s note: We assume most of this will be conversion of coal to natural gas)
• Generate 1,200 MW of additional capacity through approximately $1 billion investment to help meet reliability needs to address retiring power plants across the state. (Editor’s note: We assume much of this will involve natural gas)
• Accelerate $1.3 billion of investment in existing transmission and distribution projects to enhance reliability, improve safety, reduce cost to customers and reduce emissions.
• Invest $250 million to develop Smart Grid technologies and create the most advanced energy management control center in the country.
• Initiate field studies of Atlantic Ocean offshore wind development potential
The interagency Energy Highway Task Force will begin swift implementation of the proposed actions. These steps will significantly reduce the time required for development of energy infrastructure and includes a first-of-its-kind solicitation of new transmission projects by the Department of Public Service.
The Blueprint reaches every corner of the state with both locally focused and statewide actions to provide system reliability and economic development benefits. In Northern New York, strategic investments in transmission system upgrades will facilitate access for renewable energy projects to electricity markets. Western New York will undergo an immediate review of the viability of repowering options for power plants that have announced retirement plans and could benefit from a new Community Support Plan in the event plants are closed. Repowering, reducing transmission congestion, and offshore wind initiatives in the downstate region will help to green the power plant fleet supplying the highest energy demand area of the State. Upgrades throughout the state will support regional job growth and economic development.
The Energy Highway Task Force created the Blueprint after reviewing 130 responses provided by 85 entities including investor-owned utilities, private developers and investors in response to its Request for Information (RFI), issued in April. Public comments submitted on the RFI responses were also considered in the development of the plan as were publicly available reports and analyses. In April, along with the issuance of the RFI, the Task Force convened two conferences—an Energy Highway Summit at which power industry leaders explored the State’s energy issues and challenges, and a Conference of RFI Respondents and Interested Parties.
Governor Cuomo provided his vision for the Energy Highway in his 2012 State of the State address. He named Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority, and Joseph Martens, commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as co-chairman of the Task Force. Joining them on the Task Force are Kenneth Adams, president, chief executive officer and commissioner of Empire State Development; Garry A. Brown, chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission; and Francis J. Murray, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
To view the Energy Highway Blueprint, visit www.NYEnergyHighway.com.