NYPA Press Release

NYPA 2020 Annual Report Highlights Resilience Through Pandemic and Significant Accomplishments

For Immediate Release: 04/06/21

Contact: Paul DeMichele | paul.demichele@nypa.gov | (914) 390-8186

79% of Capital Plan Delivered Upon Despite Challenges Due to Pandemic

 

White Plains—The New York Power Authority, the nation’s largest state electric utility, today issued its 2020 Annual Report, highlighting its resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic while also sharing a summary of the past year’s key accomplishments. The report details how the Power Authority maintains its position as the leading provider of low-cost electricity for economic development for New York State and as the entity that advises its customers at public facilities in all state regions on energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

 

The report provides examples of the Power Authority’s perseverance through the pandemic, recognizing the essential workers who sequestered for weeks at NYPA generation facilities to ensure the uninterrupted flow of power throughout the state while also noting the success of NYPA’s ongoing digitization efforts as hundreds of NYPA employees seamlessly transitioned to continue their roles remotely.

 

The Power Authority’s priority was to protect the health and safety of its employees throughout the pandemic, never exceeding a COVID-19 positivity rate of more than 0.5%—much lower than the statewide average, which at its peak exceeded 5% across New York.

 

Going into 2020, NYPA had a capital plan of $865 million. As New York became the epicenter of COVID-19, nonessential work was paused, and NYPA focused on maintaining core operations and preserving cash for an uncertain future.

 

As the year progressed, NYPA resumed construction with a focus on health protocols and safety and accomplished a significant $679 million, or 79%, of the capital plan for major generation and transmission work. NYPA ran its generation assets with the highest reliability under challenging circumstances year-round, maintaining market readiness at more than 99%.

 

The Power Authority’s strong and stable financial position year-to-year demonstrates its responsible management of power assets and its commitment to reliable operating performance. NYPA’s prudent management practices—especially those implemented throughout the last year—placed NYPA in a strong financial position to continue to implement its strategic plan, VISION2030, which provides a roadmap for transforming the state’s energy infrastructure to a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade. NYPA’s strong financial performance in 2020 also allowed it to exceed the credit metrics required to maintain its stellar AA credit rating.

 

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, “I am so proud of the many ways in which NYPA and Canals staff responded to the unpredictable and pervasive pandemic crisis throughout 2020. That hard work and commitment has continued into 2021. We are guided by our new VISION2030 and we will continue to adapt, invent, deliver and lead with our customers’ needs at the forefront, to benefit every New Yorker, and future generations.”

 

Key accomplishments by the Power Authority in 2020 include:

 

  • NYPA generating facilities produced 31.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, which is up to 25 percent of the total electricity generated in the state. More than 80 percent of the power produced by NYPA is clean hydropower.

 

  • NYPA’s economic development programs throughout the state, including ReCharge NY, continue to support more than 400,000 jobs across the state while securing commitments of nearly $22 billion in capital investments that will positively impact the New York State economy. NYPA economic development power programs in 2020 secured 9,200 jobs and $762 million in capital investment commitments through the award of nearly 22 megawatts of power.

 

  • In coordination with the Power Authority’s state and local government customers in 2020, NYPA completed $160 million in energy efficiency projects at 87 public facilities that are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 14,550 tons a year.

 

  • The Bond Buyer awarded NYPA the “Deal of the Year 2020” award in the northeast region for the Power Authority’s $1.2 billion bond sale in April. The bond sale—which included nearly $800 million dedicated as Green Bonds—was the first public power deal to come to market after the onset of the pandemic-induced market shutdown and the largest public power transaction executed in 2020. The additional liquidity and flexibility were important for NYPA to continue its transmission of clean energy throughout New York, the creation of the future digital grid, and the ongoing support of its long-term customers.

 

  • Significant progress was made on the Smart Path project, which involves rebuilding and strengthening 78 miles of the 86-mile Moses-Adirondack transmission line in Northern New York. Smart Path delivers renewable energy from the North Country into the statewide power system, strengthening the state’s power grid.

 

  • In Northern New York, NYPA began construction in August on a nearly $30 million, 20-megawatt energy battery storage project in Chateaugay. The innovative facility is just the second of its kind in the state and among the largest of its type in the country. The project is expected to be in service this year and will use a unique one-hour lithium-ion battery system to help meet peak power needs by absorbing excess generation that can be discharged later, based upon the changing needs of the grid.

 

  • NYPA announced its Ten-Point Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, demonstrating its commitment to lead by example by expanding opportunities in underserved communities, increasing the participation of minority- and women-owned businesses in the supply chain, and creating an inclusive environment that aligns with the Power Authority’s values. The plan—which coincided with the establishment of NYPA’s first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer—also seeks to proactively implement solutions to address underrepresentation of women and minorities in the utility industry and increase opportunities.

 

  • NYPA, through dialogue with external Environmental Justice groups, entered into a landmark agreement with the PEAK Coalition to transition NYPA’s fleet of natural gas-fueled small clean power plants in New York City and on Long Island to cleaner energy alternatives and technologies. The work with the PEAK Coalition, a group of five leading environmental justice and clean energy interests advocating for climate-vulnerable populations, demonstrates NYPA’s commitment to be a good neighbor in communities where it has facilities.

 

  • The Power Authority expanded its Smart Street Lighting NY program, which calls for at least 500,000 streetlights statewide to be replaced with energy-saving LED technology by 2025. With the completion of LED streetlights installed throughout Syracuse, New York has now replaced more than 120,000 LED streetlights under the program.

 

  • The NYPA Board of Trustees approved $300 million in funding for the Reimagine the Canals Initiative to create recreational activities on the canal to boost tourism, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and recreational fishing, and restoring wetlands.

 

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

 

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. 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. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.