States & Regions member New York State is planning the power grid of tomorrow, today

Reading time: 4 minutes
4 May 2016

NEW YORK: State of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced US$150 million to support large-scale renewable energy projects across the state, as well as launched the next phase of a US$40 million NY Prize microgrid competition to modernize the state’s electric grid in order to reduce costs for citizens and promote clean energy.

The announcements are part of a broader strategy from New York State – which is a member of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance – to introduce cleaner energy and “build the energy grid of tomorrow, today”.

 

To replace inefficient power grids based on fossil fuels, new grids will be based on a unique mix of renewable energy from both large and small resources. For example, while large-scale power generation can come from hydroelectric, solar and wind sources, citizens can also install a series of distributed energy resources – such as rooftop solar and batteries – that would be connected to the grid through smart technology.

By sourcing energy locally and using it directly in their homes or storing it to sell it back into the grid, citizens would also be able to lower the price of electricity for their neighbors. This is because the utility can buy local clean power rather than produce it in a large, distant and polluting power plant.

“We found that a community micro grid within the larger Con Edison grid may be able to provide some of the solutions,” confirms Gita Nandan, Acrhitect and Co-chair, Red Hook Rising Community Reconstruction Committee, “in order to create a more resilient, more sustainable, and a better power system.”

New York State’s clean energy plan is also driving economic development, creating jobs and spurring business innovation. Joe Casper, Founder & CEO, Ephesus Lighting, has created light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that allow 70-75% more energy savings compared to traditional lights owing to the government’s initiative.

Underlining the importance for start-ups and established businesses alike to be supported by bold climate policies, the entrepreneur said: “My dream was to stay right here in Syracuse, keep the manufacturing right here in New York State, and that's exactly what we are doing.”

The State of New York has a goal to reach 50% electricity from renewable resources by 2030, and a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

“The new reality of extreme weather means that we must reimagine our state and nation to be cleaner and more resilient than ever before,” said Governor Cuomo announcing The Climate Group’s Climate Week NYC 2014. “New York has experienced firsthand the devastating effects of a changing climate, but today I am proud to say that we are building back better and stronger, and doing so with the next major storm in mind.”

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