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N.Y. Power Authority CEO Kessel Says New Technologies Provide Opportunities  For Public-Private Partnerships for Advancing Clean Energy

Contact:
Michael Saltzman
914-390-8181
Michael.Saltzman@nypa.gov

September 16, 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

NEW YORK—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel told an international gathering this week that the statewide public power utility is taking major steps to partner with clean energy companies to diversify New York State’s energy supplies for enhancing energy security, growing the economy and combating climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.  

“In the last few months, the New York Power Authority has undertaken significant initiatives to expand the state’s supplies of clean and sustainable renewable power,” Kessel said.  “This is in support of Governor Paterson’s goal for 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs to be met through clean renewable energy and improved energy efficiency by the year 2015. We’re all working very hard to meet this critically important goal, as provided for under the Governor’s ‘45 by 15’ plan.”   

Kessel was the keynote speaker Monday (Sept. 14) at the U.S.-Israel Cleantech Conference at the New York Academy of Sciences conference center in Lower Manhattan.  The participants included New York government, utility and industry officials, senior representatives of the Government of Israel and some 14 Israeli companies undertaking cutting-edge work in renewable energy. The forum included remarks by Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Israel’s minister of industry, trade and labor, who noted that such meetings help to promote partnerships for developing clean energy.   

NYPA and the New York Academy of Sciences co-sponsored the first day of the three-day energy conference.  The participants shared information on innovative work in the U.S. and Israel involving solar and wind power, “smart-grid” solutions, energy efficiency and other clean energy technologies.  

“We have to encourage the spread of renewable energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” Kessel said.  “I believe that New York State and Israel can promote thousands of ‘green’ clean jobs through investments in clean energy technologies. It’s about using energy to stimulate businesses, and addressing the challenges that we face during this difficult economic time.”   

The Power Authority CEO cited the importance of upgrading transmission infrastructure to integrate additional amounts of clean, renewable energy.  “Our energy infrastructure is not as reliable or ‘smart’ as it should be for meeting the needs of a 21st-century economy. We need to look at ways to reinforce it,” he said, noting that this includes modern control technologies that improve the efficiency of the entire electric power system, and the construction of new transmission. 

Kessel noted that earlier this year, NYPA announced an initiative to explore the development of an offshore wind project in the Great Lakes.  It also joined with other utilities in a similar announcement regarding wind power development off the coast of Long Island.  And NYPA is working toward a public-private partnership for the development of 100 megawatts (mw) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. The project would be the largest solar power initiative in New York State. 

Kessel invited Israeli businesses to enter into joint ventures with New York State and be part of the New York economy.    

He said that energy efficiency is another major focal point of the Power Authority efforts, noting that the cleanest, most affordable kilowatt hour is the one not generated. To that end, the Authority is planning to invest $1.3 billion through 2015 in support of the Governor’s energy-efficiency goals.  

Kessel said that the Power Authority’s involvement with new clean energy initiatives is an extension of its role as the leading supplier of renewable power in New York State.  Approximately 75 percent of the Authority’s electricity production is from hydropower plants. These include two large generating facilities on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers that provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the country, helping to underpin tens of thousands of jobs in those regions.      

About NYPA:

■    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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■    About 75 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

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