NYPA Approves Clean Energy Roadmap for Next Decade

by Dec 10, 2020

The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA’s) board of trustees recently 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 the 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 state has set timetables for decarbonizing its electricity system which comprises:
1) Moving towards 70% renewables by 2030
2) 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040
3) Become a carbon-neutral economy by 2050

VISION2030 includes a path to decarbonization by transitioning the 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 state’s goal of carbon-free electricity by 2040. The roadmap further details the 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.

VISION2030 focuses on 5 strategies to achieve the clean energy goals of NYPA customers and the state. These are listed as follows:

1) Partner with customers to deliver clean and affordable energy solutions.
a. The NYPA will also enable 325 MW of distributed and customer-sited solar by 2025 and facilitate 450 MW of storage projects by 2030.
b. In addition, to advance e-mobility across the state, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) 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, the NYPA’s public fast charging network.
2) Pioneer the path to decarbonization while ensuring reliability, resilience, and affordability of the state’s electric grid.
a. The NYPA recently signed an agreement with environmental justice groups to assess how its natural gas-fired ‘peaker’ plants, 6 in New York City and 1 on Long Island, can be transitioned to use clean energy technologies.
b. Potential siting of battery storage and hydrogen blending at the plants is under consideration.
3) Facilitate the rapid development of transmission assets to connect renewables. Three major projects to help the state meet its changing transmission needs are currently underway:
a. Replacement of the 86-mile-long Moses-Adirondack transmission lines that run from Massena to Croghan in the North Country. The USD 484 million SmartPath project will allow for greater transmission of energy from renewable sources.
b. 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.
c. 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, the NYPA estimates the Northern New York project will result in cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreased transmission congestion.
4) Preserve hydropower:
a. The NYPA will preserve and enhance the value of the NYPA’s hydropower assets, which account for approximately 25% of New York State’s electricity.
b. A 15-year, US$1.1 billion life extension and modernization program, first announced in July 2019, is currently underway to significantly extend the operating life of the 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 United States.
5) Reimagine the Canals:
a. In VISION2030, the NYPA and the Canal Corp. reimagine the New York Canal System for the economic and recreational benefit of New Yorkers while driving operational efficiency.
b. The NYPA will continue to reinvigorate the New York State Canal System primarily through the Reimagine the Canals initiative announced by Cuomo earlier this year. Link to the news: https://www.tdworld.com/overhead-transmission/article/21149989/nypa-approves-strategic-plan-to-provide-clean-energy-roadmap-for-next-decade