Clean Path NY (CPNY) announced a critical milestone for its nation-leading, “All Renewable, All New York” clean energy and transmission project to deliver reliable, clean energy to New York communities and transform how New York is powered. With contract approval from the New York State Public Service Commission today, CPNY will move forward on a robust public engagement process to advance an $11 billion investment that will create 8,300 in-state jobs and catalyze $4.7 billion of in-state economic development. Clean Path NY will deliver 7.5 million megawatt hours of renewable energy annually, reduce fossil fuel-fired generation by 22 percent per year statewide, and eliminate an estimated 49 million tons of carbon emissions through 2040.
Clean Path NY comprises 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 Power Plant, a hydroelectric facility that will strengthen the reliability and resiliency of the project. Together, these assets will dramatically increase the delivery of reliable, cost-effective renewable energy into New York City to drive a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuel plants that are currently relied upon to serve the city’s peak energy needs. The project is a partnership between Invenergy, energyRe, and NYPA.
“Today’s decision is a key milestone and critical step forward in the fight for New York’s clean energy future, and the Clean Path NY team is ready to move ahead with this major clean energy project for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” said Clean Path NY leaders Michael Polsky of Invenergy, Jeff Blau of energyRe, and Justin E. Driscoll of the New York Power Authority. “Clean Path NY is a turning point for New York as we work to finally resolve the congestion that has plagued our electricity grid for decades and slowed progress on urgent climate goals. The Clean Path NY project will deliver good-paying jobs, make our air cleaner, and provide reliable emissions-free power to residents and businesses across the state—a win-win-win for New York. We are proud to help make New York a healthier, more resilient place to call home.”
Clean Path NY is critical to advancing New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality. These legally-binding goals cannot be achieved without first resolving the ‘Tale of Two Grids’—the inability of New York’s power system to move clean energy generated upstate to serve fossil-fuel dependent downstate regions, due to lack of sufficient transmission. Clean Path NY will help to solve this challenge by modernizing and unifying New York’s energy grid, connecting communities across the state to clean energy from Clean Path NY and other sources of renewable energy, and transition New York away from fossil fuels through a more resilient and reliable electrical grid.
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said: “Cleaning up our power grid is an economic, climate, and public health necessity. The Public Service Commission’s decision brings us one step further to the infrastructure investments and good-paying jobs New York needs to lead the way to inclusive an green economy.”
Costa Constantinides, CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens and former New York City Council Member,said: “Frontline communities in Queens have waited long enough for meaningful climate action. The future New Yorkers deserve depends on clean air and clean energy, and today’s approval is the momentum we need to make that finally make that future a reality for our borough.”
Echo D. Cartwright, Director of Climate Mitigation for The Nature Conservancy NY, said: “For too long, congestion in New York’s aging power grid has blocked clean energy from reaching communities on the frontlines of climate change. With today’s decision on Clean Path NY, we are one step closer to the healthy, resilient state New Yorkers deserve.”
Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, said: “Environmental policy, economic policy, and public health policy are inextricably linked. That is why Clean Path NY is a win-win-win for our state—delivering renewable energy, good-paying jobs and clean air to New Yorkers across the state. Today’s decision represents a huge step toward a green economy that supports New York’s working families and builds middle-class careers with benefits.”
James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York, said: “The Public Service Commission’s approval of these two projects is a significant step forward in reducing carbon emissions, creating good jobs, and addressing long-standing environmental injustices. The clean power delivered by these projects will help the public and private sector continue working together to comprehensively address our shared climate goals. We applaud Governor Hochul and her Administration’s commitment to this critical initiative.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said: “Today’s decision to approve the Tier 4 projects is a critical step forward in transforming New York’s energy future and meeting the urgent climate goals we need to ensure a healthy, sustainable state for this generation and the next. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for the environment, green jobs, and a more resilient future for New Yorkers.”
Lisa Sorin, President of The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, said: “A healthy workforce is a strong workforce. Clean Path NY will reduce New York’s reliance on fossil fuels and start to reverse the systemic health disparities and poor air quality that have impacted our Bronx workforce, businesses, and residents for too long. Our communities need as much clean energy as possible as quickly as possible and Clean Path NY will help get us there.”
Melva M. Miller, CEO of the Association for a Better New York, said: “A green economy is a strong economy, and New York is once again leading the way to ensure that our state remains the best place to live, work, and grow a business. The PSC’s decision to approve the Clean Path NY project is a critical milestone to bringing massive amounts of renewable energy online—energy that our businesses need to be to be competitive and sustainable.”
Clean Path NY was selected for award through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) 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 supported by a broad and diverse coalition of leaders in public health, climate action, environmental justice and economic and workforce development, and received more than 600 letters of support and comments from working New Yorkers, elected officials, and advocates across the state.
Local Law 97 Benefits – NYSERDA REC Sales
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 will directly reduce the cost of the Tier 4 program to the benefit of ratepayers. The City of New York, the State of New York’s Office of General Services, and real estate owners in New York City have already committed to or signaled interest in REC purchases enabled by the Tier 4 program.
The Clean Path NY project was developed with environmental justice at its core and is forecasted to provide billions of dollars of overall societal benefits inclusive of greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements. The delivery of renewable energy into New York City 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 mandated through the Climate Act/CLCPA 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 and otherwise underserved 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 and all along the project route 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. 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. The transmission line will be sited entirely underground or underwater and primarily in existing NYPA and DOT rights of way already used by roads and transmission lines and roads, limiting impact to surrounding communities and environments and ensuring the line is resilient in extreme weather.
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