2010-11-26 / Top Stories

New York City Agencies Seek Energy Developer

Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway have announced the City is seeking proposals from energy developers and financiers to design, build, operate, and/or finance a cogeneration plant on Wards Island and hydroelectric power on four City-owned dams in upstate New York. The public-private initiatives could generate up to 45 megawatts of clean energy in the City and upstate, improving the reliability of the City’s energy grid and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Goldsmith also announced that the City’s energy policy and planning unit, formerly based at the City’s Economic Development Corporation, have been relocated to the Department of Environmental Protection and that the department will take a lead role in the City’s energy policy and planning efforts, including City involvement in private energy infrastructure investments that impact New York City. The Department of Environmental Protection also will work with key energy regulators including the New York Independent System Operator, the Public Service Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on energy issues affecting city residents and ratepayers. “Cogeneration and hydroelectric power hold incredible promise to provide the City with more clean energy sources and we are seeking ideas to form public-private partnerships to realize that potential,” said Goldsmith. “By centralizing energy policy at DEP, we can take advantage of more opportunities to find clean energy sources that will reduce the strain on the City’s energy grid without generating more carbon emissions.” “I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Goldsmith for this opportunity,” said Commissioner Holloway. “From our wastewater treatment plants throughout the five boroughs to the reservoirs upstate, DEP has a unique asset mix that, in partnership with local utilities and the private sector, can be harnessed to generate clean, renewable energy. And as one of the largest energy consumers in the City, we have a strong interest in keeping energy reliable and affordable, and taking a leadership role in Mayor Bloomberg’s effort to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. We look forward to working with the many energy stakeholders in the City and State to achieve these goals, and a greener, greater New York.” “Developing new sources for renewable energy is an important step towards meeting our PlaNYC goal of providing cleaner, more reliable power for every New Yorker,” said David Bragdon, director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “This innovative approach has the potential to not only clean up our energy supply, but also achieves other important objectives such as cleaner air and fewer carbon emissions.” “I applaud DEP for pursuing innovative strategies to achieve the goals of PlaNYC. We were honored to work on these clean energy initiatives, which promise to significantly reduce the greenhouse gases produced by government operations,” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy. “Effective collaboration among agencies is critical to making government more energy efficient.”

“I’m very encouraged with the City’s effort to move this initiative forward,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez, who represents seven counties in the Mid- Hudson, Northern Catskills, and Southern Tier – including numerous communities in the New York City Watershed. “The challenge with this undertaking will be to work with DEP to ensure that any agreement provides sufficient flexibility that allows a private sector partner to see a reasonable return on their investment. There are many positives for our society in pursuing this. As part of this process, however, we also need to ensure that the people of the Watershed see some benefit.”

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