News | December 13, 2006

NYPA President Carey Urges City To Enact Proposed Energy Laws

Measures Would Promote Clean Technologies, Energy Efficiency

New York — New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Carey has urged the New York City Council to promptly enact two proposed laws intended to encourage the use of clean new energy technologies and energy efficient practices in city-owned buildings.

One measure, Introduction (Int.) No. 18, calls for a survey of the buildings to determine if installation of clean on-site electric generating projects would be appropriate. The other, Int. No 23, would require a commissioning program to ensure efficient building operation and would mandate an energy efficiency training program for city personnel.

"The Power Authority strongly supports enactment of each of these measures," Carey said in testimony submitted recently to the council's Committee on Environmental Protection. "We believe they represent thoughtful, constructive and potentially effective responses to the challenges of ensuring a reliable, economical power supply for the city while protecting the environment and reducing the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our nation's economic health and its security."

He said the proposed laws are consistent with Power Authority initiatives, under the leadership of Gov. George E. Pataki, to promote environmentally positive technologies, energy efficiency and sustainable development in the city.

"The city and Power Authority efforts with respect to clean on-site generation and energy efficiency might well complement each other, even as Int. No. 18 and Int. No. 23, if enacted, would work in tandem to address major energy and environmental needs," Carey testified.

In addition to supplying economical electricity for government buildings, schools, street lights, subway and commuter trains and other public facilities and purposes throughout the city, Carey said NYPA:

  • Has installed 12 fuel cells, which produce electricity in a virtually emission-free chemical process, and seven rooftop solar energy projects that are now in service in the city. These facilities have averted the need to burn more than 72,000 barrels of oil and the emission of over 30,000 tons of greenhouse gases.
  • Plans to create one of the world's largest fuel cell complexes, with a total capacity of nearly five megawatts, at the redeveloped World Trade Center site.
  • Is continuing to analyze a successful test, conducted in October, of the use of biodiesel fuel, blended with oil, at its Charles Poletti Power Project in Astoria, Queens. Has financed about $565 million worth of energy efficiency and clean-energy projects at nearly 1,200 facilities owned and operated by the city and other government entities in the five boroughs, saving the public entities and local taxpayers nearly $58 million a year while replacing oil and cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
  • Intends to begin a study next year of the potential for additional energy efficiency measures at public facilities in the city. For the city government alone, NYPA now has about $154 million worth of projects in various phases of development.

Carey lauded the City Council for enactment last year of Local Law No. 86 to encourage the use of "green building" technologies that save energy, protect the environment and enhance the health and productivity of occupants. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will require that most non-residential new construction and major alterations financed by the city achieve certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED program, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, as well as significant energy cost savings.

The Power Authority, Carey said, is seeking certification for its headquarters building in White Plains under the USGBC's LEED program for existing buildings and will share knowledge obtained in this process with the city and its other customers.