Broad and Diverse Support for Clean Path NY Renewable Energy Project from Leaders in Public Health, Economic Development, Climate Action
All Renewable, All New York project to deliver billions of dollars in overall societal benefits, including 20 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions every year and 49 million tons of carbon emissions reductions
CPNY to create 8,300 in-state jobs and generate $4.7 billion of in-state economic development
New state-of-the art, 175-mile transmission line to deliver 7.5 million MWH of renewable energy annually; build 3,800 MW of new solar and wind energy
Renewable energy generated by Clean Path NY will be highly attractive to New York City building owners to comply with Local Law 97, a standard for green buildings, resulting in significant ratepayer savings potential
A broad and diverse coalition of leaders in public health, climate action, environmental justice and economic and workforce development called on New York State Public Service Commission to approve Clean Path NY’s contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Clean Path NY is an “All Renewable, All New York” project that will transform the way New York State is powered and dramatically advance the state’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protect Act (CLCPA). Clean Path NY will reduce particulate matter emissions from the electric sector by 20-22% percent across the state every year and avoid 49 million tons of CO2 emissions through 2040. The project represents an $11 billion in-state investment that will create 8,300 in-state jobs, and catalyze $4.7 billion of in-state economic development.
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—the heart of the city’s electrical grid—to drive a significant reduction in the use of oil and gas-fired fossil fuel plants sited in frontline communities. The project is a partnership between Invenergy, energyRe, and NYPA.
Clean Path NY has received more than 600 letters of support and comments from working New Yorkers, elected officials, industry leaders, and advocates across the state:
Organized Labor and Economic Development:
- More than 300 comments and letters from individual members of NY Laborers
- 11 letters of support from business advocacy organizations and chambers of commerce, including the Partnership for New York City, the Association for a Better New York and the Business Council of New York State
Environmental Organizations and Academic Institutions:
- 17 letters from organizations advancing climate action and environmental justice: including NYLCV, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Urban Green Council and NY Renews
- 3 letters from New York higher-education academic institutions
Municipal and Elected Official Support:
- Clean Path New York is an integral part of New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s official agenda to address Climate Change
- 9 letters of elected and municipal support from villages, boroughs, cities, towns all along the project route
The General Public
CPNY also received more than 250 letters of support from members of the general public who believe in a resilient and healthy future for New York.
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said: “We must build the infrastructure needed to bring New York City clean, reliable energy to replace their antiquated, polluting fossil fuel plants. NYC presents a unique challenge to achieving CLCPA goals and is almost entirely reliant on fossil fuels, with outdated power plants polluting disadvantaged communities. Clean Path NY will reduce New York State’s annual CO2 emissions by 2.5 million tons while investing $1.8 billion dollars in our communities and kickstarting the green energy economy across the state. Clean energy transmission is critical in achieving our CLCPA mandates and we need these projects to advance without delay.”
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said: “ACE NY is fully supportive of New York’s procurement of Tier 4 RECs through the Clean Path New York Project and urges the Commission to approve its contract. The Clean Path NY project will be at the forefront of creating a new, cleaner, energy grid for all New Yorkers to benefit from.”
Costa Constantinides, CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens and former New York City Council Member, said: “Growing up in Western Queens, I know the burden fossil fuel production has had on our families. By transmitting power from renewable sources upstate to New York City, the Clean Path New York project will support new renewable energy production, immediately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and present bold new investment in the green economy. It will also hasten our ability to shut down dirty peaker plants and baseload polluters, making the air here in Queens cleaner for our families. The decisions we make in the next decade on how we tackle climate change will have impacts on our environment for generations. This is a critical moment to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and help avoid the impacts of climate change. The Clean Path New York project is a vital part of that mission.”
Dr. Douglas L. York, President and CEO of UNION Community Health Center, said: “Asthma and respiratory illness disproportionately affect Bronx residents more so than anywhere else in NYS. Though the Bronx represents only 7% of the State’s population, it accounts for 22% of all NYS asthma hospitalizations. This statistic is directly tied to our community’s proximity to pollution and poor air quality. Because Clean Path NY seeks to mitigate such environmental and health impacts to our community, UNION strongly supports this project. We also applaud Clean Path NY efforts to target investments to expand access to medical care and health services in frontline communities that have borne a disproportionate burden of environmental injustices.”
Echo D. Cartwright, Director of Climate Mitigation for The Nature Conservancy NY, said: “For decades, long-standing transmission constraints in the upstate New York area have hindered the environmental, economic and public health benefits of clean energy projects from reaching load-bearing areas such as New York City, disproportionately impacting communities on the frontlines of climate change. Clean Path New York and CHPE will help the state to achieve its ambitious clean energy goals and create a pathway to transmit more than 7.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of emissions-free energy to New York City. The Nature Conservancy supports this project and New York’s efforts to build a clean energy future for our communities that will result in good jobs and improved public health for all.”
Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, said: “Clean Path NY has committed to creating thousands of middle-class careers with benefits in the sustainable economy and to investing in workforce development and training to help ensure a just transition for the state’s workforce, making it critical that this plan to bring renewable energy to New York is approved. Thoughtful and forward-looking green energy projects like Clean Path NY are critical to building New York’s economy of the future and our middle-class.”
James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York, said: “Clean Path NY is a clear win-win for New Yorkers that will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuel generation, create family-sustaining jobs, and improve public health. The project will help our State meet its climate and public health goals by reducing reliance of these generation facilities, cutting air pollution in the surrounding areas too often impacted by high rates of asthma and other public health challenges. Clean Path New York will also boost New York’s growing green economy because the entire $11 billion investment will go toward projects located within New York State, centering and prioritizing environmental justice and economic development in communities on the frontlines of climate change. By increasing the availability of renewable energy credits from new wind and solar generation and the efficient transmission of renewable energy downstate, Clean Path New York ensures that building owners can meet their emission reduction obligations and be active partners in New York’s ambitious carbon neutrality goals.”
John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Business Council of Westchester, said: “Clean Path NY will be vital in helping New Yorkers keep their grid reliable and meet the state’s ambitious emission-free power requirements issued under the CLCPA. Our region is now almost entirely dependent on natural gas for power generation, while congestion prevents upstate renewable energy from reaching downstate residents and businesses. We must change this paradigm if we are going to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce emissions. The economic benefits of Clean Path NY will be felt statewide—8,300 union jobs and $11 billion for all-New York projects, as well as new investments for frontline communities in job training and community revitalization. Clean Path NY is essential for the health and economy of our state, and we urge it to move forward.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said: “With the enactment of the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York set some of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the U.S. Not only will Clean Path New York help achieve the State’s clean energy goals and bring renewable energy to New York City, the project will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, create green jobs, and invest in frontline communities. Clean Path New York is projected to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 million tons annually, reducing overall emissions from the State’s electricity sector by 22% and generate $4.3 billion in economic benefits. Due to the substantial, lasting environmental and economic impacts, it is clear that Clean Path NY is a win for New York’s climate goals and its communities.”
Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of The Partnership for New York City, said: “The Partnership strongly supports Clean Path New York. Addressing climate change will require bold, thoughtful collaboration between private and public interests—and Clean Path New York is an important model for such a collaboration.”
Lisa Sorin, President of The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Bronx Chamber strongly supports Clean Path NY and urges the State to advance this project. By bringing renewable power generated in upstate New York directly to New York City, where electricity today is generated almost entirely from fossil fuels, Clean Path NY will help our State meet its climate and public health goals by reducing reliance of these generation facilities. This will cut air pollution in surrounding frontline communities too often impacted by high rates of asthma, including and especially the Bronx. We also believe it is vital to make sure our state builds a climate for businesses to become more competitive in a green economy while meeting the state’s goals for green energy. The Clean Path NY project offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet both goals while providing immense economic, environmental justice, and public benefits back to communities and businesses.”
Matt Cohen, President & CEO of the Long Island Association, said: “The Long Island Association supports the Clean Path New York project as it could result in thousands of new jobs and significant economic and community benefits to New York State while helping to decarbonize our energy mix and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Melva Miller, CEO of the Association for a Better New York, said: “It is vital we meet the state’s goals for green energy while also making sure our state builds a climate for businesses to become more competitive in a green economy. I believe that the Clean Path NY project offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet both goals while providing immense economic, environmental justice, and public benefits back to communities and businesses. As our state shifts to renewables, we must ensure that the benefits of this transition are captured by all New Yorkers—workers, businesses, and communities. Private and public interests must cooperate to meet the rising needs of New York’s power grid while allowing businesses to remain competitive. I believe the Clean Path NY project meets those needs while investing in New York businesses, creating savings for ratepayers, and building lasting, meaningful impacts in our communities.”
Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Urban Upbound, said: “The negative effects of burning fossil fuels are well-documented and our community in western Queens, known as Asthma Alley, has borne the brunt of the negative health impacts from our proximity to fossil fuel infrastructure. The Clean Path New York project will enable us to transition resiliently away from fossil fuels and has my full support. Our city and state can be leaders in the green economy if we act decisively.”
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.
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.
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.
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]