On October 22, 2012, the New York Energy Highway Task Force (“Task Force”) presented Governor Andrew M. Cuomo with the New York State Energy Highway Blueprint (“Blueprint”).  This Blueprint includes thirteen recommended actions aimed at adding up to 3,200 megawatts (“MW”) in new generation and transmission to New York, as well as developing clean energy.  The Blueprint contains recommended actions that the Task Force estimates will result in roughly $5.7 billion in public and private investments over the next five to ten years, including investment in the following: renewable energy projects, repowering existing high emission plants, existing transmission and distribution projects, Smart Grid technologies, and field studies concerning offshore wind development. 

The Task Force’s recommended actions follow a review of over 130 responses to its April 11, 2012 request for information (see April 17, 2012 edition of the WER).  The thirteen specific actions in the Blueprint are grouped into four objective areas in order to “advance Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision for the Energy Highway.”  The four objective areas are: (1) expand and strengthen the energy highway; (2) accelerate construction and repair; (3) support clean energy; and (4) drive technology innovation.

The recommended actions include: building $1 billion worth of electric transmission projects which equal over 1,000 MW in capacity; allowing energy from upstate power plants to reach downstate; coming up with Reliability Contingency Plans for power plant retirements that could impact system reliability, including an immediate plan for the potential closure of the Indian Point Energy Center; and supporting public power authorities with contract flexibility, to “facilitate public-private partnerships.”  The Blueprint also includes recommended actions focused on construction and repair, specifically advancing up to $800 million in investments in electric generation, transmission, and distribution to “enhance reliability, safety and storm resilience,” and $500 million in investments in natural gas distribution in order to reduce costs to customers and “enhance reliability, safety and emissions reductions.”

In addition to expansion, construction and repair, the Blueprint also recommends actions to support clean energy, specifically the development of renewable energy projects, offshore wind development, energy efficiency and demand-side resources, and repowering existing power plants in an effort to improve efficiency and protect the environment.  Finally, the Blueprint recommends actions to drive technology innovation by advancing Smart Grid in New York and establishing an Advanced Energy Management System Control Center in New York to focus on transmission research and development. 

A copy of the Blueprint is available here.