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Somerset hearing highlights new report on meeting New York's energy needs

by jmaloni

Press release from the Sierra Club and Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Thu, Sep 27th 2012 05:00 pm

Assessment shows New York could power the state with efficiency and clean energy, safely retire dirty energy sources

New York State Sen. George Maziarz plans to hold a public hearing to examine issues around New York's long-term energy needs. The New York Independent System Operator has released a new reliability needs assessment showing that New York can safely and reliably meet future energy needs with energy efficiency and clean energy even with the retirement of the state's remaining coal plants and the closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant.

The new report shows that achieving New York's goal to increase energy efficiency to 15 percent by 2015 by itself would be sufficient to meet New York's projected resource needs for the next decade.

According to the NYISO there will be enough electric capacity in New York to retire 3,000 megawatts of generation - more than every single coal plant in the state - without causing a "resource adequacy violation" in upstate New York for at least the next 10 years. These projections demonstrate the state's energy security even before consideration of new proposed wind and solar energy projects that would add additional electric capacity and reliability to New York's energy infrastructure.

In a response, on behalf of Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Sierra Club, Mark Kresowik, deputy regional campaign director for the Sierra Club, made the following statement:

"We appreciate Senator Maziarz's efforts to bring attention to the most recent reliability assessment by the New York electric grid operator. This assessment emphasizes the need to invest in energy efficiency and help New York communities and workers transition to clean energy as the retirement of inefficient and dirty coal plants progresses.

"While the report does indicate that retiring the Indian Point nuclear plant by 2015 would create some challenges downstate, previous studies by Synapse Energy Economics and Charles River Associates show they could be resolved by meeting the '15 by 15' energy efficiency goal, transmission upgrades, and investing in clean energy such as wind and solar power throughout the state. Right now, the Long Island Power Authority has the opportunity to choose enough offshore wind to meet their customer's needs as projected by the report through 2021.

"Together we are calling on Governor Cuomo to help New Yorkers breathe easier, save money and power our homes and businesses safely by meeting New York's energy efficiency goals, directing the Long Island Power Authority to choose offshore wind, and providing financial assistance to the communities and workers who are leading the transition to clean energy."

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