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N.Y. Power Authority Chief Cites Need for Clean New Energy Sources

Stephen Shoenholz

November 7, 2006


MONTREAL—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Carey warned Tuesday that “the imperatives of fuel diversity and environmental protection demand that we focus on a new generation of clean energy sources.”

“We must identify and develop the technologies that will best enable us to cut our dependence on oil from hostile or potentially hostile foreign sources, to combat global warming and other threats to our environment and to assure the reliable, affordable energy needed to fuel economic growth,” Carey, who heads the largest state-owned electric utility in the United States, said at the fifth annual Quebec Energy Forum.

Carey told the audience at the Hotel Intercontinental that the “pragmatic environmentalism” of New York Gov. George E. Pataki has helped position NYPA to play a key role in meeting the state’s needs for clean, reliable energy.

Under Pataki’s leadership, he said, the Power Authority is helping to implement an initiative to encourage private-sector development of one or more clean-coal power plants in New York State and is planning a “Hydropower to Hydrogen” program in which hydroelectric power will be used, in an emission-free process, to produce hydrogen as a fuel for transportation.  In addition, he said, NYPA has installed 14 fuel cells and 25 solar photovoltaic projects.

Carey said NYPA’s large hydroelectric projects on the St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers, which share water resources with Ontario Power Generation, and the Authority’s 765-kilovolt transmission line from Quebec are major sources of clean energy that help to reduce New York State’s reliance on oil for electricity production.

He said the two hydro projects supply about 19 percent of New York State’s electricity, providing a solid foundation for meeting a state requirement that at least 25 percent of the total come from renewable sources by 2013.

Carey noted, however, that no major hydroelectric sites remain to be developed in the state and that current energy challenges require “innovative responses that go beyond building large new transmission lines and power plants, necessary and appropriate as these actions may sometimes be.”

In addition to developing clean power sources, Carey said the Power Authority is committed to promoting energy efficiency and the development of “green buildings” designed to save energy and water, improve the environment and protect the health of occupants.

“It is my goal,” he said, “to make the Power Authority the cleanest and greenest electric utility anywhere.”

Carey said the Power Authority has invested more than $1 billion over the past 15 years in energy efficiency and clean energy projects at government buildings, schools and other public facilities throughout New York State and is on target to spend $100 million for such purposes in 2006.

He said completed projects reduce peak demand for electricity by more than 200 megawatts and annually save taxpayers almost $100 million through reduced energy and maintenance costs, avoid the burning of more than 1.8 million barrels of oil and cut greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly 760,000 tons.

After investing almost $3.5 million in a comprehensive energy efficiency project at its headquarters building in White Plains, N.Y., north of New York City, Carey said the Power Authority is implementing various other measures with the goal of achieving certification for the building under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED program, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. 

“There is enormous potential for quality, economically sound investment in green buildings,” said Carey, who was named this year to the USGBC’s Board of Directors.

Excerpts from remarks of Timothy S. Carey

   About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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