June 28, 2006
By: by Stephen Shoenholz, NYPA
ALBANY-Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), said Friday that the Power Authority “is well prepared to remain a vital asset” in ensuring a clean and secure power supply for New York State.
“The energy problems of today are in some ways the most pressing our state, and nation, have ever faced,” Carey said at a New Energy Symposium at the University at Albany. “I believe the Power Authority gives New York a special advantage in addressing them.”
Citing rising costs and tightening supplies for oil and natural gas, increasing environmental concerns and growing demand for a reliable power supply, Carey said that “the imperatives of fuel diversity and environmental protection demand that we focus on a new generation of clean energy sources.”
He told the audience at the university’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering that NYPA, with Gov. George E. Pataki’s strong support, is playing a leading role in various areas, ranging from development of solar power projects and fuel cells to the use of clean coal and hydrogen as energy sources and major initiatives to promote energy efficiency and new transportation options that will cut dependence on foreign oil.
“I think it’s safe to say that no governor has made better use of the Authority-has capitalized more on our unique strengths and capabilities-than has George Pataki,” said Carey, who noted that NYPA is marking its 75th anniversary this year.
Carey said that thanks largely to the Power Authority’s large hydroelectric projects on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers, New York State has “a solid head start” toward meeting the goal, put forward by the governor and since mandated by the state Public Service Commission, that at least 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from clean, renewable sources by 2013.
He said that NYPA in 2003 obtained a new 50-year federal license for its St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Project, is working to receive a new license for the Niagara Project next year and is investing a total of more than $700 million in improvements at those two facilities and at its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Schoharie County to ensure their efficient operation for years to come.
In other initiatives, Carey said the Power Authority:
Has installed 23 solar photovoltaic projects and 13 fuel cells in various parts of the state and is exploring development of several biomass facilities, including one in the Village of Tupper Lake that would use wood residue from Northern New York forests.
Is heavily involved in Governor Pataki’s Clean-Coal Power Plant program, intended to result in development by the private sector of at least one coal project in the state that would be able to capture-or sequester-carbon dioxide and would significantly reduce the other emissions produced by conventional coal-burning plants.
Is studying the use of hydroelectric power from the Niagara Project in a process that would produce hydrogen to power vehicles running on fuel cells or modified internal combustion engines at Niagara Falls State Park. Carey said the effort is envisioned as a model for others and “would help to promote a hydrogen-based industry in the state.”
Has helped to put more than 800 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in service in its own fleet and those of others and is a leader in efforts to promote plug-in hybrids, which will draw electricity directly from the power system and will be cleaner and more fuel-efficient than conventional hybrids.
Is installing one of the nation’s first and largest sodium sulfur battery storage systems to permit more-efficient use of energy at a bus depot in Garden City, L.I.
Has completed energy-efficiency projects at nearly 2,400 schools and other public facilities throughout the state, saving almost 1.7 million barrels of oil a year and cutting annual emissions of greenhouse gases by more than 735,000 tons. In 2006, Carey said, NYPA will invest $100 million in energy-efficiency projects and will surpass $1 billion for cumulative investments in such endeavors.
Will seek certification this year for its White Plains administrative building under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
¦ 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.
¦ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.
¦ It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.