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During Climate Week, Cuomo announces partnerships with Ireland & Denmark to improve power grids, enable more renewable energy sources

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Wed, Sep 25th 2019 10:30 am

Agreement with Irish utilities enables testing of technologies at NYPA Grid Research Lab

MOU with Denmark advances ongoing offshore wind collaboration

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced New York is pursuing partnerships with Ireland and Denmark by signing two separate memorandums of understanding that will lead to improved electric infrastructure and the advancement of more renewable energy sources, including offshore wind. The agreements were announced during Climate Week and will advance both New York's nation-leading plan to combat climate change and the governor's “Green New Deal” agenda.

This summer, Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates New York's power be 100% clean and carbon-free by 2040.

"New York is committed to innovation and will benefit greatly from these partnerships with two of our key international partners. Jointly pursuing our shared goals will help bring new clean energy resources onto our next-generation electric grids," Cuomo said. "These collaborations will enable New York state to remain at the forefront of technological advancement and economic development as we shape an energy future that will benefit all New Yorkers by lowering costs and reducing our carbon footprint."

"These groundbreaking partnerships with Ireland and Denmark are helping to advance our aggressive clean energy goals," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "Working together, we will strengthen our power grids and increase the use of renewable energy sources, including offshore wind. The efforts complement our overall goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in clean energy projects, and combat climate change."

The first agreement, with Ireland's electric utility and grid operator, lays out plans to model, create and test new solutions for energy systems in the state's first collaborative electric utility research facility at the New York Power Authority. The collaboration between NYPA, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), a state-owned Irish utility; EirGrid Group, a state-owned Irish electric power transmission operator; and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that focuses on the electric industry, aims to accelerate improvements to energy infrastructure, create more reliable and efficient electric grids, and integrate distributed generation and resources onto local and regional power grids.

The second agreement expands an ongoing partnership between the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate for the development and procurement of offshore wind energy. Expertise and knowledge will be exchanged while developing innovative solutions for the development of offshore wind energy, including areas such as infrastructure, supply chain, workforce development and procurement solutions. This collaborative partnership will build upon the foundation of the New York state offshore wind master plan, which was released in 2018 by Cuomo and moves the state closer to its goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

Denmark is one of the leading offshore wind energy producers in Europe with the third-largest market for offshore wind comprising of 15 operational wind farms totaling over 1,700 megawatts. With world-leading offshore wind industry and workforce capabilities, Denmark boasts expertise within all aspects of the offshore wind supply chain, including wind turbine producers, development and manufacturing of offshore wind farms and maintenance.

The new electric utility and grid technologies developed under the New York-Irish agreement will be designed and tested in the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), located at NYPA's headquarters in White Plains. AGILe can perform a variety of transmission and distribution grid simulation and hardware- or software-in-the-loop studies, aimed at improving reliability and incorporating intermittent resources – like solar and wind – into the energy mix.

The new research competencies fine-tuned in AGILe will be of particular interest to the senior leaders and policy-makers of Ireland, EirGrid and ESB as the country is on the same clean energy path as New York. The European Union has mandated 16% of Ireland's total energy consumption come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "As the nation's largest state utility, NYPA shares many of the same objectives as our Irish counterparts. We both recognize that a low-carbon energy future combined with a resilient grid is not only good for our environment and our world, it is also the best way to meet the preferences of our customers and spur new economic development."

NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, "Today's MOU signing with the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate is another example of Gov. Cuomo's unwavering commitment to growing New York's clean energy economy while combatting climate change. Developing offshore wind will bring tremendous value to the entire state through decarbonization and economic development and, with this partnership, we will continue to collaborate with Denmark not only on advancing this incredible renewable energy resource, but addressing one of the most globally pressing issues of our time."

Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jørgensen said, "The signing of the extension of the cooperation agreement between the Danish Ministry for Climate, Energy and Utilities and NYSERDA emphasizes the importance of global partnerships in addressing climate change. New York and Denmark have both recently set some very ambitious clean energy targets. Through our strong partnership, Denmark will continue to support the ambitious offshore wind buildout in New York in the coming years. At the same time, Denmark will benefit from experiences gained from the greening of New York's economy and its strong focus on offshore wind over the coming years. We are proud to be able to work with New York on its tremendous journey towards a clean energy future."

EirGrid Group Chief Executive Mark Foley said, "We in EirGrid have played a vital and pivotal role through both our ability to connect wind farms, and crucially through our DS3 innovation program. Through this, we have challenged the laws of physics and delivered products and services that enable us to achieve a world-leading level of 65% instantaneous renewable energy on the Irish power system."

ESB Networks Managing Director Paddy Hayes said, "ESB Networks is committed to playing its part in leading Ireland's transition to a low carbon future powered by clean electricity. Achieving our aggressive goals for more electricity from renewables and the wholesale electrification of heat and transport will take extensive and collaborative innovation far beyond the technologies, techniques and business models we use today."

EPRI President and CEO Mike Howard said, "NYPA and the Irish utilities are engaged with EPRI on many research projects aimed at improving grid performance. This agreement lays a collaborative framework to explore solutions that aim to enable a more seamless integration of distributed energy resources into the grid."

In July, Cuomo announced New York's first two offshore wind projects – Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind – totaling nearly 1,700 megawatts that will create enough energy to power over 1 million homes, representing the single large renewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history. Combined, the projects, which offered prices approximately 40% less than expected compared to analysis completed in early 2018, are expected to create more than 1,600 jobs and result in $3.2 billion in economic activity, including major investments to upgrade existing New York ports in downstate New York and up the Hudson River to the Capital Region.

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