Clean Path NY Announces Contract Agreement with NYSERDA and Submission to Public Service Commission
Clean Path NY, an All Renewable, All New York project, to deliver billions of dollars in overall societal benefits, including through 20 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions every year and
49 million tons of carbon emissions reductions
Clean Path NY’s 175-mile transmission line and 3,800 megawatts of new solar and wind energy to generate $4.7 billion of in-state economic development, including in disadvantaged communities
Renewable energy generated by Clean Path NY will be highly attractive to New York City building owners to comply with Local Law 97 resulting in significant ratepayer savings potential
NEW YORK, NY – November 30, 2021 - Clean Path NY today announced the signing of an agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and submission of the contract to the New York State Public Service Commission for approval. Clean Path NY is an “All Renewable, All New York” development that will transform the way New York State is powered and dramatically advance the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protect Act (CLCPA). Clean Path NY will contribute billions of dollars as part of the $7.4 billion overall societal benefits of the Tier 4 program, including through the reduction of particulate matter emissions from the electric sector by 20 percent or more across the state every year and avoiding 49 million tons of CO2 emissions through 2040 (when New York’s grid is expected to reach zero emissions).
Clean Path NY represents an $11 billion investment, and in addition to overall societal benefits, will have direct economic benefits for New York State including 8,300 jobs created based entirely in state and $4.7 billion of in-state economic development, including in disadvantaged communities. Clean Path NY is comprised of a 175-mile state-of-the-art transmission line, 3,800 megawatts of new in-state solar and wind power, and New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) existing Blenheim-Gilboa pumped storage facility. Together these assets will dramatically increase the delivery of reliable, cost-effective renewable energy into New York’s Zone J to drive a significant reduction in the use of oil and gas-fired fossil fuel plants sited in vulnerable communities.
Clean Path NY leaders Michael Polsky of Invenergy, Jeff Blau of energyRe, and Justin E. Driscoll of the New York Power Authority said, "Clean Path NY is proud to join Governor Hochul and NYSERDA in advancing this history-making renewable energy infrastructure project that will fundamentally transform New York’s electric grid and improve the lives of New Yorkers across the state. With new, in-state transmission and generation – an All Renewable, All New York approach – we are proud to be advancing a just transition to clean energy that will fight the climate crisis, prioritize environmental justice and create thousands of green jobs in New York.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The Clean Path NY project provides a tremendous opportunity to responsibly deliver a significant amount of new in-state renewable energy to New York City and helps the State accelerate its path to a zero-emission future. NYSERDA is pleased to finalize the contract for Clean Path NY and will work with our partners to bring forward thousands of family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers with billions in economic development, including investments in some of the state’s most underserved communities.”
Clean Path NY was selected for award through NYSERDA’s first of its kind Tier 4 competitive request for proposal process which aims to responsibly deliver a significant increase of renewable energy to New York City, an area of the state that relies on aging fossil fuel-fired generation, experiences the most significant air quality issues and health impacts from fossil fuel emissions, and has a marked need for grid reliability and resiliency. The project is a partnership between Invenergy, energyRe, and NYPA.
For generations, New York State’s electric grid has been plagued by congestion that has prevented upstate renewable energy from reaching New York City. Emission-free energy powers over 80 percent of the electric grid upstate but less than 20 percent downstate. New York City comprises one third of the state’s electrical demand, and to address the climate crisis and meet the CLCPA targets of 100 percent zero-emission energy by 2040, New York must develop new transmission to bring renewable energy downstate. Clean Path NY will build and unlock new renewable energy generation upstate and deliver it to New York City through a completely underground transmission line, 105 miles of which is in an existing NYPA transmission corridor. By being built underground, the line will be more resilient against climate change-induced extreme weather events – limiting disruptions in service.
Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) said, “Cleaner air and less exposure to harmful pollutants as a result of the Clean Path NY project will improve public health at many levels and help communities across New York avoid billions of dollars in social and public health costs. These benefits are especially important in communities of color that have been historically burdened by the effects of climate change and pollution along with other environmental injustices from the siting and construction of energy infrastructure. We are pleased to see that Clean Path NY project is developing generation and transmission assets with the long-term environmental impacts in mind from the outset.”
James Whelan, President, Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) said, “Working together towards our shared climate goals means addressing carbon emissions across the entire economy, both at the building level and the generation stage. NYSERDA’s Tier 4 program is a critical step forward that will allow our members to meaningfully participate in the clean energy economy as they work to comprehensively reduce carbon emissions from their buildings. We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their leadership.”
Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “Clean Path NY will create good-paying jobs in the sustainable economy for thousands of hardworking New Yorkers. We thank Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their leadership in advancing this important project and look forward to working with the Clean Path NY team to ensure middle-class careers remain central to New York’s clean energy future.”
Net Ratepayer Savings
An analysis conducted by PowerGEM, a widely respected independent modeling and engineering expert retained by Clean Path NY, attributes significant load payment savings above those identified by NYSERDA in its own analysis and which result in net savings for New York ratepayers. The Clean Path NY transmission line drives significant energy delivery cost savings by alleviating congestion on New York’s power grid. Ratepayers will also see energy generation savings from the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Wind and solar energy sources, which do not require fuel, have lower operating costs compared to fossil-fuel fired generation sources, and millions of megawatt hours of low-cost renewable energy delivered annually to the grid by Clean Path NY will benefit consumers.
Substantial additional long-term savings are expected by virtue of the public-private partnership advancing the project, specifically, NYPA assuming full ownership of the Clean Path NY transmission line after the first 25 years so that it can be used as a resource for the state for decades to come.
Local Law 97 Benefits – NYSERDA REC Sales
In addition to the savings outlined above, New York City’s Local Law 97 creates a vast new market for the sale of renewable energy credits (RECs) by NYSERDA. The sale of those RECs to real estate owners in New York City will deliver substantial revenue to the State of New York, directly reducing the cost of the Tier 4 program – benefitting ratepayers.
Local Law 97 limits carbon emissions from buildings, with owners facing steep fines if they do not comply by 2024, and which double in 2030. Today, the grid is not capable of delivering enough clean energy to New York City to meet the demand that the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) forecasts exists from those building owners. That demand can pay for most, if not all, of the project through REC purchases by building owners. Here’s how: NYSERDA will buy RECs from Clean Path NY, and then will have those RECs to offer to building owners. NYSERDA will recoup most, if not all, of the cost of the RECs it purchased from Clean Path NY. The ratepayer benefit of REC sales for Local Law 97 compliance is independent of the other ratepayer benefits and savings outlined above and in NYSERDA’s own analysis.
The Clean Path NY project was developed with environmental justice at its core and is forecasted to provide billions of overall societal benefits inclusive of greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements. The delivery of renewable energy into Zone J will drive a significant reduction in the use of oil and gas-fired fossil fuel plants sited in vulnerable communities. This will result in 20 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions each year as well as 49 million tons of CO2 removed from the atmosphere through 2040 (when New York’s grid is expected to reach zero emissions).
In addition, Clean Path NY will develop a $270 million investment fund to support workforce development and education programs, health services and environmental stewardship programs that will include electrification retrofits of affordable housing – with priority given to directing funds into frontline communities. Workforce development and education programs will focus on increasing minority participation in the green economy with additional increased funding for existing workforce development, apprenticeships, local hiring initiatives, and education. The fund will seek to make targeted investments to expand access to medical care and health services in the frontline communities that have borne a disproportionate burden of the fossil fuel economy for too long. The fund is also seeking environmental conservation and clean energy opportunities to spur investment, create jobs, and reduce the environmental burden existing buildings place on communities.
The project team is committed to working with communities and stakeholders at every stage of development to ensure that local voices are sought and heard, for the wellbeing of communities and the project’s surrounding ecosystem.
Routing and environmental work is underway on the Clean Path NY transmission line route from Delaware County, in New York’s Southern Tier economic development region, through the Mid-Hudson region to New York City. A majority of the transmission line will be built on existing rights-of-ways already used by roads and transmission lines, largely underground. The robust and comprehensive state planning process ensures that the transmission line will follow the most optimal route, taking into account potential community impact and environmental stewardship. In particular, Clean Path NY’s route will be designed specifically to minimize potential impacts to the Hudson River.
Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters said, “New York needs to think big and bold with its energy vision, and that’s exactly what NYSERDA is doing by moving projects like the Clean Path NY project forward. The State must make significant investments to reach its goal of relying on 70% renewable energy by 2030 and build a firm foundation for our clean energy future and replace the fossil fuel infrastructure of yesterday. Tier 4 projects will not only provide a lifeline of renewable energy to downstate NY, but also create jobs, reduce emissions and help create the new green energy economy of tomorrow.”
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York said, “New York’s unprecedented investment in green energy is something the Alliance for Clean Energy New York s firmly supports. The Clean Path NY project will be at the forefront of creating a new, cleaner, energy grid for all New Yorkers to benefit from.”
John Mandyck, Chief Executive Officer of Urban Green Council said, “In order to hit New York’s ambitious decarbonization goals, we need big, transformative projects like Clean Path NY. The clean energy it delivers into the City will alleviate local pollution, advance the case for electrifying existing buildings, and place us closer to our net zero climate goals. We commend the State of New York for its ambitious climate plans and the award of these projects to help green the NYC grid.”
This project has been submitted to the PSC for approval and is subject to a public comment period that will run through February 7, 2022. The petition and contract are available on the Department of Public Service’s website under Case Number 15-E-0302, where comments can be submitted.
energyRe is an independent New York company focused on solving complex challenges and providing clean energy solutions. The team at energyRe has expertise in infrastructure, engineering, and real estate and its founding investors include principals of Related Companies. Guided by the values of community engagement, government partnership, and a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, energyRe is working towards a clean energy future for all New Yorkers.
We are innovators building a sustainable world. Invenergy has successfully developed more than 29,000 megawatts of large-scale sustainable energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia and is delivering clean energy to market through its growing portfolio of Invenergy Transmission projects. Since its first New York wind farm began operating in 2009, Invenergy has been helping build New York’s renewable energy future and today employs New Yorkers at its regional office in Ithaca and at four operating energy facilities. For more information, please visit Invenergy.com [invenergy.com].
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 owns and operates approximately one third of New York’s high voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA’s three large hydroelectric generation facilities and independent wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy to New York State’s power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,300 megawatts of hydroelectric power and about 700 megawatts, or more than a third, of New York State generated wind energy to the grid. NYPA uses no 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 [nypa.gov] and follow us on Twitter [twitter.com] @NYPAenergy, Facebook [facebook.com], Instagram [instagram.com], Tumblr [nypaenergy.tumblr.com] and LinkedIn [linkedin.com].
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