Industry, Environmental Groups Urge Transmission Line Upgrades
New Links Needed to Move Renewable Energy

ALBANY, NY (November 3, 2016) — Environmental organizations and clean energy industries are calling for upgrades in New York’s electricity transmission capabilities. Meeting in Albany at the Alliance for Clean Energy New York’s (ACE NY) 10th Annual Conference, advocacy and industry groups announced their joint position that new transmission lines will help meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 50 percent renewables goal by 2030 (50 x 30) at the least cost to ratepayers. ACE NY Executive Director, Anne Reynolds, warned that it only makes sense to build new lines if they help deploy renewables – such as wind and solar.

“With nearly 4,000 megawatts of new renewable energy projects proposed, real progress toward New York’s 50 by 30 goal is in sight,” Reynolds said. “New transmission capability is needed, but with upstate New York turning to a renewable energy future, the state should only be investing in those lines that are needed to deliver wind- and solar-generated power.”

“Transmission projects will play a critical role in ensuring that New York’s abundant wind and solar resources can deliver electricity to customers throughout the state,” said Jackson Morris, Director of Eastern Energy at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Connecting customers to electricity generated from renewable sources will help reduce New York’s reliance on dirty fossil-fueled power plants and create cleaner air and healthier communities.”  

A joint statement from ACE NY, NRDC, Sierra Club, Pace Energy and Climate Center, and Environmental Advocates of New York was filed today with the Public Service Commission in two separate transmission related cases. (Transmission Policy Statement) 

“Everything in the New York energy sector, including transmission planning, should be viewed through a public interest lens, that is, the Clean Energy Standard and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Karl R. Rábago, Executive Director at Pace Energy and Climate Center. “The public interest in New York is served best by a transmission system that connects large scale renewable energy generation with clean and efficient distributed energy resources entering the market as a result of the Reforming the Energy Vision process.”

Conor Bambrick, air & energy director for Environmental Advocates of New York said, “New York can not and will not become an economy powered entirely by clean, renewable energy on old, outdated, and inefficient lines. A critical part of our transition is the modernization of the electric grid in order to maximize New York’s renewable energy potential and achieve Governor Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals.”

Representatives from across the environmental and renewable energy sectors are meeting today in Albany to discuss implementation of the new Clean Energy Standard and New York’s 50 x 30 goal. Last night, the groups heard from White House representative Dan Utech, President Obama’s top policy advisor on energy and climate. Utech said that New York’s commitment to clean energy, including the Clean Energy Standard and 50 x 30, were a leading state component of President Obama’s climate and renewable energy goals.

###