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Con Edison Completes Transmission Line, Accelerating Clean Energy Transition in Queens

May 15, 2023
Reliable Clean City Initiative advances renewable electricity transmission, paving the way for decommissioning power plants.

Con Edison has completed a six-mile-long transmission line in Queens, New York. This line, connecting substations in Corona and Long Island City, will facilitate the transmission of renewable electricity, paving the way for the decommissioning of inefficient and polluting power plants.

The newly completed transmission line is a key component of Con Edison’s Reliable Clean City initiative, which began in 2021. The aim of this initiative is to support the retirement of fossil fuel power plants in the city, thereby reducing carbon emissions and co-pollutants. By shuttering these plants, the state moves closer to achieving the environmental objectives outlined in its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

The power plants, including the NRG plant in Astoria that closed on May 1, are “peaker plants” that primarily operate during periods of high electricity demand. These plants tend to be older and less efficient, resulting in disproportionately higher emissions during operation. Moreover, neighboring communities, often disadvantaged, bear the brunt of the adverse health effects associated with these emissions.

“As we continue our efforts to combat climate change, upgrading New York’s transmission system to deliver clean energy across the state is a top priority,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “With this critical new transmission line, we are enhancing and upgrading New York City's electric grid and enabling the continued development of renewable energy.”

“New York City has the dirtiest grid in the state, and we must shift to clean, renewable energy to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon future,” said NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. “To do so, we first need to invest in our power grid. The Queens Reliable Clean City project is a critical component toward greening our electricity supply, retiring polluting peaker plants, and meeting our ambitious climate goals.”

Con Edison is constructing Reliable Clean City transmission projects in Brooklyn and Staten Island, which also involve substation upgrades. The projects are expected to be completed by 2025.

The transmission line in Queens has a capacity of 300 MW, while the combined Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island lines will add 900 MW of transmission capacity across New York City. This increased capacity is crucial as Con Edison anticipates a growing demand for electricity due to a shift away from fossil fuels by building owners and an increase in electric vehicle adoption.

The region’s power supply will increasingly come from clean energy sources as the state expands its renewable generation portfolio. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates the inclusion of 9,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2035.

Con Edison has allocated $275 million of its $800 million investment to the Queens project as part of the Reliable Clean City initiatives. It is also taking steps to lower carbon emissions and support environmental goals through the Reliable Clean City projects. The company works with customers to promote energy conservation, incentivize building electrification, and facilitate EV charger installation, all while maintaining high reliability. These efforts contribute to Con Edison's commitment to a clean energy future.

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