New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City has signed a letter of intentin partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority committing the City to pursuing a joint purchase of large-scale renewable source of electricity delivered to the city, which could include Canadian hydropower to the extent selected or its equivalent. This joint purchase, which will power City government operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025, will provide additional value to disadvantaged and energy burdened communities as well as all residents of the State, and be a dramatic step forward as part of the City’s comprehensive climate mitigation strategy to ensure the City makes a just transition to a clean energy economy.
"Clean energy is directly linked to a fair recovery," said de Blasio. "It's about investing in our future and our frontline communities. Today we're taking major step forward to secure renewable energy for New York City and power our government with 100 percent renewables by 2025."
Through OneNYC 2050, de Blasio has set ambitious and aggressive goals for confronting the climate crisis, ending the age of fossil fuels, and securing a livable climate for the next generation. New York State has also established a policy for transforming its economy and the manner in which electricity is produced and delivered to customers in New York through the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Clean Energy Standard, and more recently via the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. City and State policies are aligned on the urgent need to end the age of fossil fuels, to replace in-city polluting energy infrastructure that is largely concentrated in environmental justice communities, to catalyze the City’s electrification of building heating and hot water and meet its commitment to end natural gas connections, and the deliverability of clean energy into the city is a crucial step in doing so.
The City has made major strides towards carbon neutrality with an expansion of solar, support for offshore wind, bold steps to achieve energy efficiency, and committing to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure in the city, but these are not enough to meet the city’s growing energy needs into the future. Connecting to existing clean, reliable hydropower or equivalent large-scale renewable source of energy would supply a major source of renewable energy for the city that would also support additional renewables by providing clean baseload power, energy resiliency benefits and blackstart capabilities, and would be able to replace local fossil fuel-powered generation and improve local air quality.
The letter of intent lays out the parameters the City will take into consideration prior to entering into a long-term agreement to purchase Clean Energy Standard Renewable Energy Certificates (“RECs”) associated with the delivery of renewable energy into Zone J of the New York Control Area.
The City intends to purchase a sufficient quantity of RECs to secure 100% of its energy needs from renewable resources while preserving the ability to engage in deep energy retrofits, other energy efficiency measures and the deployment of renewable distributed energy resources.
"This is the electricity of the future, and it can't come soon enough,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor's Office of Climate and Sustainability. “With this commitment to vastly increase the supply of renewable electricity to New York City, we will clean our air, correct injustice, and race towards a future beyond fossil fuels. Thank you to NYSERDA for their partnership as we work together to build a safer, cleaner, fairer energy system for New York."