Tradition of Service, Plans for the Future Described in N.Y. Power Authority’s 2011 Annual Report
Jill Murman Payne
May 9, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINS – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) marked its 80th anniversary of service to New York State in 2011, and its just published annual report for the year (available online at www.nypa.gov) describes the tradition of reliability and operational excellence that NYPA has established, along with its most recent accomplishments and latest activities.
Under the leadership of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Power Authority is taking action on a variety of fronts to address New York’s current and future energy needs, reducing electricity bills to help spur the economy while investing in clean energy projects designed to protect public health and preserve environmental quality. The Governor’s initiatives that NYPA is helping to carry out include the “Energy Highway” to modernize the state’s aging electric power system; a Solar Market Acceleration Program (Solar MAP) that will provide up to $30 million to help expand the use and cost-effectiveness of solar power; accelerated and increased investments in energy efficiency measures at state and local government facilities; energy efficiency master plans for state facilities, including $450 million in dedicated financing for the next four years; and “ReCharge New York,” which uses NYPA hydropower and purchases of market power for a new, statewide economic development program.
“The New York Power Authority had an exceptional year of service to the people of our state in 2011, and we are proud to present this annual report as a chronicle of what we have accomplished and what we are planning to do in the coming months and years,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Governor Cuomo has directed the Power Authority to play a key role in several important energy initiatives, and on behalf of NYPA’s employees throughout the state, we are ready to respond with the energy and enthusiasm that is expected of us.”
Using a nontraditional approach to tell its story, the Power Authority’s annual report for 2011 features a series of NYPA employees, who describe significant projects and programs in their own words, demonstrating the teamwork that is needed to achieve success in a variety of endeavors. The annual report is divided into four main sections that focus on specific aspects of the Power Authority’s operations in 2011.
Investments in Infrastructure
NYPA generated 28.13 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2011, with nonpolluting hydropower accounting for 78 percent of this amount. Significant investments are being made to keep NYPA’s critical assets in top condition for decades to come, with multi-year Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) efforts now under way at two of New York’s largest hydropower projects. A $460 million LEM began in 2011 at the Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant (LPGP), the auxiliary facility at NYPA’s Niagara Power Project. Over nine years, all 12 of LPGP’s pump-turbine generators will be overhauled.
NYPA is also in the final stages of a 15-year LEM at its St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, in Massena, with the refurbishing of all 16 turbine-generators and other equipment at a cost of $281 million due to be completed by next year.
The 2011 annual report reviews major maintenance outages at NYPA’s clean natural gas-fueled plants in New York City and Long Island. Smart grid developments, for modernizing electricity-delivery systems, and NYPA’s investment in a new power line being built by Hudson Transmission Partners from New Jersey to New York City, are included in the infrastructure section as well.
Clean Energy Partnerships
In 2011, NYPA’s energy efficiency efforts cut the state’s demand for electricity by more than 10 megawatts (MW), lowered the annual energy bills of public facilities by about $9 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 36,000 tons. For the third consecutive year, NYPA broke its record by financing more than $186 million in energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The expenditures were linked to initiatives at nearly 2,600 public facilities throughout the state.
Solar power has been a part of NYPA’s clean energy portfolio for almost two decades, and activity in this area has accelerated in recent years. In 2011, NYPA funding and technical expertise assisted with solar power systems ranging from small-scale residential installations in communities served by the state’s municipal and rural cooperative electric systems to a 750-kilowatt project designed by a landscape artist for the University at Buffalo. In 2012, NYPA launched the Solar MAP as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative to quadruple the amount of customer-sited photovoltaic capacity installed in New York by 2013.
In 2011, NYPA expanded its Green Power program, purchasing over 230,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits from new and existing facilities on behalf of customers looking to “green” their operations or meet state and local mandates. Green Power projects generate electricity from renewable sources, including biomass, waste gas and wind power.
Power Authority electricity directly supported nearly 380,000 jobs throughout the state, with more than 9,000 new and existing jobs linked to allocations in 2011 alone. During the year, NYPA established the framework for administering Governor Cuomo’s ReCharge New York Program, which makes available 910 MW of lower-cost power to New York businesses and not-for-profit organizations across the state in return for their retaining and creating jobs and undertaking capital investments. The NYPA trustees awarded the first power allocations under the new program in April, with power deliveries to begin as early as July 1.
Among the success stories of 2011 was a new allocation of low-cost power from NYPA’s St. Lawrence-FDR project to help Upstate Niagara Cooperative, a Western New York food and beverage producer, expand into Northern New York. The Cooperative, which is owned by 375 dairy farmers and a NYPA power customer since 2005, took over a dairy plant that had closed in North Lawrence, rehiring 60 workers who’d been laid off and making about $6 million in improvements to the facility, which specializes in yogurt products.
The 2011 annual report also details some of the services and solutions NYPA provides to its governmental customers, especially the City of New York, which is the Power Authority’s single largest account for sales of electricity. For example, in 2011, an agreement was reached with city officials, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line to introduce “shore power” at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, making it possible for ships to turn off their diesel engines and plug into the electric grid while in port. Once the initiative is implemented in 2013, surrounding communities anticipate significant reductions in air emissions, including an estimated 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 95 tons of nitrous oxide and 6.5 tons of particulate matter.
The Power Authority is continuing to expand its efforts to be a more sustainable enterprise, with a separate Sustainability Annual Report prepared to detail efforts that encompass the “triple-bottom-line” goals of environmental stewardship, social equity and economic prosperity. In 2011, NYPA enhanced its diversity programs, both within its workforce and in the procurement of goods and services; it also improved its outreach to environmental justice communities throughout the state.
In 2011, NYPA undertook several initiatives associated with agreements reached with local communities and other stakeholders as part of the new federal licenses approved for the St. Lawrence-FDR project, in 2003, and the Niagara project, in 2007. The annual report describes some of these relicensing activities – which include Habitat Improvement Projects, shoreline stabilization efforts and funding to establish a Niagara River Greenway – that are helping to protect and enhance the waterways that fuel NYPA’s largest hydropower projects.
The report also provides a brief overview of the heroic response of NYPA employees during the devastating floods that struck parts of upstate New York as a result of Tropical Storm Irene, in August 2011. The Power Authority prepared a report on its emergency response for federal regulators, and also held a public meeting to help local residents better understand NYPA’s actions before, during and after the storm.
As it has done in previous years, the Power Authority’s 2011 annual report was designed, written, photographed and produced in-house. To preserve resources and save energy, only a limited number of copies were printed, using recycled paper. The annual report is available for viewing in its entirety on the Internet at: www.nypa.gov.
■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.