NYPA Press Release

New York Power Authority Names First VP to Head Renewable Project Development 

For Immediate Release: 10/9/23

Contact: NYPA Media Inquiries | media.inquiries@nypa.gov | (914) 681-6770

New York Power Authority Names First VP to Head Renewable Project Development


Renewables Leader to Oversee NYPA’s Strategic Planning for Priority Clean Energy Projects



WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has created a new senior leadership role to deliver upon its expanded authority to develop, own and operate renewable energy generating projects to assist the state in advancing its clean energy targets. The newly hired vice president of renewable project development will help lead the drafting of a 2025 strategic plan to identify NYPA actions and priorities for building more renewable resources and support decarbonizing New York State’s electric grid.

Vennela Yadhati was named NYPA’s first VP, Renewable Project Development, effective Oct. 9. She will lead a team under the direction of Phil Toia, President, NYPA Development, who is charged with helping NYPA achieve goals for large-scale renewables and utility-scale storage projects as well as expanding transmission systems to support this growth. 


“The Power Authority with its expanded authority will have a key role in identifying, developing and building renewable energy projects that will move the state forward to achieve its bold climate action goals,” said Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “Vennela brings leadership skills and a proven ability to execute renewable generation and energy storage projects. We are pleased to have Vennela lead our renewables team as we prioritize projects, alone or in partnership, that can help advance New York’s clean energy future and support the continued economic growth and competitiveness of New York State.”


NYPA’s expanded authority was added in legislation in New York State’s 2023-24 Enacted State Budget. The legislation enables NYPA to assist the state in meeting its clean energy targets, including a goal to produce 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. NYPA can build these resources —on its own and in collaboration with public and private partners—to accelerate the state’s decarbonization journey.


Yadhati first joined the Power Authority in 2018 as a manager in Distributed Energy Resources, supporting and executing renewable project contracts and identifying new markets and business models to expand NYPA’s service offerings to better support the State’s and NYPA customers’ clean energy goals. She spent the past two years at Orsted, a Danish company that develops renewable energy facilities, where she was a senior manager of commercial strategy and business development. Yadhati now rejoins NYPA in her new role.   


Yadhati’s responsibilities at NYPA will involve leading the renewable project development team to successfully execute projects and develop business plans to advance new initiatives and strategies, according to Toia.  She will also manage related interconnection needs.


Yadhati joins the Authority as it moves forward with a conferral process, called for in the enacted legislation that grants the expanded authority. Through the conferral process, input is being gathered from state agencies and other key stakeholders—including climate and resiliency experts, labor organizations, and environmental justice and community group—regarding progress on the implementation of New York’s renewable energy goals as outlined in the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.


The final conferral report, expected to be issued by the end of the year, will be made public and used by the Power Authority to inform the development of its first two-year strategic plan that will outline its strategies and proposed projects.


The expanded authority also includes authority for NYPA to fund and work with the State Department of Labor on workforce development programs that will serve as a pipeline and break down traditional barriers to entry into the utility industry.  The enactment also directs NYPA to develop a plan to phase-out electricity production from its small, natural gas-fired power plants by the end of 2030 and consider using the sites for renewable generation, energy storage, or electric grid support needs as appropriate.


The legislation also empowers NYPA, in partnership with the Public Service Commission (PSC), to support disadvantaged communities with a new Renewable Energy Access and Community Help (REACH) program that will enable low-income and moderate-income electricity consumers to receive bill credits funded from revenues from the sale of renewable energy products.


Yadhati is a professional engineer who holds a master of science in electrical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a bachelor of technology from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India.  Yadhati lives in White Plains and serves as a board member for Sustainable Westchester and a Planning Board member for the City of White Plains, working to promote clean energy and sustainability.


Photo: Vennela Yadhati




New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State'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 achieve 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 investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, 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 are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.


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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 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, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.