New York is not prepared for Indian Point’s closure
To the Editor:
To keep up with the building boom and a population that is expected to soar to 8.7 million by 2025, New York City needs to find ways to pump more electricity to the five boroughs, according to a new report by the New York Building Congress (“Industry group: City needs more gas pipelines to offset Indian Point closure”).
The report asserts that New York needs to increase its transmission and natural gas pipeline capacity to meet energy demands projected through 2027. The need is exacerbated by the impending closure of Indian Point—the non-greenhouse gas-emitting nuclear power plant which provides 2,069 megawatts of electricity for Westchester County and New York City (25% of the region’s energy).
The New York Building Congress report “Electricity Outlook” provides an analysis for the future of electricity in New York City and offers a variety of recommendations to address potential risks.
The report recommends that the state invest in transmission capacity projects in order to meet the demand in New York City while decreasing dependence on dirty fossil fuels. In addition to hydropower, other renewables like wind and solar are also growing in upstate New York and could be tapped into to supply energy to the city. Increased transmission capacity would make it possible for renewable energy to be shifted to places with the highest demand and also help New York City reach its aggressive clean energy goals.
The group is concerned that, as we have warned, greenhouse-gas emissions will be added to our air from power plants brought on line to replace Indian Point. It is also concerned about maintaining a reliable electricity supply.
The shutdown of Indian Point could have potentially harmful consequences, as the New York Building Congress suggests. It is abundantly clear that state policymakers must develop a transparent plan to replace Indian Point’s power in a manner that is cost-effective for ratepayers while protecting the air we breathe.
The author is the president of SHARE-New York (safe, healthy, affordable, reliable electricity), a coalition of businesses, clergy and community leaders in New York City.