NEW COALITION CALLS FOR NEW YORK TO APPROVE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM UPGRADES, CREATING THOUSANDS OF JOBS & MILLIONS IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
COMMUNITY LEADERS COME TOGETHER TO ANNOUNCE THE FOUNDATION OF POWER NY COALITION
Power NY Supports Bringing Cleaner, More Affordable Energy to New York, Revitalizing the Upstate Economy & Upgrading Outdated Infrastructure
(Albany, NY) – A new coalition of local officials, community members, business leaders and economic development organizations came together today to call on New York to move forward with a plan to dramatically improve the state’s transmission infrastructure, creating thousands of jobs and injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the Upstate economy.
The Power NY coalition was formed to support the rehabilitation of the current power grid in New York and urge the state to do the same. Upgrading the system would relieve a bottleneck in the current grid that prevents energy consumers from having access to plentiful affordable power, including power from clean and renewable sources. Allowing a major infrastructure investment in the state’s power grid would boost the regional economies and create jobs – both from the work itself, as well as by providing system capacity for Upstate power producers seeking to expand their businesses and increase the amount of renewable energy in the system.
“As one of the counties that is home to New York’s 80-year-old ailing energy highway, we have seen first hand how critical it is that our transmission system be updated to deliver clean affordable and reliable energy to New Yorkers. Communities like ours cannot be competitive to attract businesses or families with the current infrastructure that is in place which is why I have proudly signed on to Power NY to ensure our community and others like ours can flourish,” said Montgomery County Executive, Matthew L. Ossenfort.
“Updating our transmission system will not only supply our state with environmentally friendly energy, but it will create up to 11,000 desperately needed jobs and generate as much as $1.6 billion for our communities – to me, that is something to Power Up for,” said Ann Thane, Mayor of Amsterdam. “As is evidenced by the diverse voices that form this coalition, of which I am proud to be a member, New York needs to update our aging transmission system to create jobs, boost our economy and provide clean affordable power to New Yorkers.”
Coalition members include:
• Matthew L. Ossenfort, Montgomery County Executive
• Ann Thane, Mayor of Amsterdam
• Mike Tucker, President & CEO of the Center for Economic Growth
• Ted Skerpon, President of IBEW Local 97
• Kyle Garrett, Director of Operations for Target
• Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority
• Mark Eagan, President & CEO of Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber
• Rich Hendrick, General Manager of the Port of Albany
• Carm Basile, CEO of CDTA
• Chuck Steiner, President & CEO of Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce
• Dave Buicko, COO of the Galesi Group
New York’s current power grid is aging rapidly, severely congested, costly to consumers and is prohibiting the implementation of cleaner energy for New York.
The congested transmission system has caused energy prices to increase by $8.5 billion in the past decade, and led to the implementation of a new capacity zone, raising local energy costs by $35-$55 million. Due to the limited capacity of the current grid, there is a cap on the number of renewable developments that can be opened Upstate. Currently, 20 wind projects are on hold that would provide New York with cleaner energy and boost their local economies.
In addition to the benefits this investment would have on our state’s energy, Power NY is supportive of this as it would create up to 11,000 jobs to the State and pump as much as $1.6 billion into the regional economies.
“As the Capital Region’s economic development and marketing organization, the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is committed to promoting Tech Valley as a thriving center for innovation and accelerated business growth. CEG is proud to join the coalition in support of upgrading New York’s transmission infrastructure,” said F. Michael Tucker, President & CEO, Center for Economic Growth. “This upgrade is a much-needed investment in our region’s economy and our future, and will help keep Upstate New York competitive to grow existing businesses and attract new investment.”
“IBEW Local 97 represents more than 4,000 New Yorkers and our members in the power generation industry can attest to the challenging times, related in part to outdated infrastructure,” said Theodore Skerpon, President/Business Manager/Financial Secretary, IBEW Local 97. “We support the effort to upgrade critical portions of the state’s transmission system, which is aged and congested. This is a real opportunity to relieve congestion in the system while creating jobs and generating millions in economic impact for New York State.”
“Target is proud to be a member of the New York community. We work hard to make sure that we meet the needs of our community and to do so, we rely on the latest technologies and the cleanest and most efficient forms of energy. Unfortunately, New York’s energy highway is ailing making it more difficult to keep this commitment. Building an upgraded transmission system will not only bring in up to $1.6 billion to the region and supply as many as 11,000 severely needed jobs, it will ensure clean, affordable and reliable energy for New Yorkers. As proud members of the Power NY coalition and the New York community we support upgrading our transmission system to ensure New York receives the clean, affordable and reliable energy it deserves,” said Kyle Garrett, Director of Distribution for Target.
“New York needs to upgrade its energy infrastructure to remain competitive for key economic development projects. Upgrading our power grid will create new jobs and new economic activity in Upstate New York,” said Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.
“As an advocate for economic growth and prosperity in the Capital Region, the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber is fully behind this effort to upgrade New York’s power grid. Not only will the effort provide more affordable energy to the region, but it will also create up to 11,000 jobs and up to $1.6 billion in increased activity in our regional economies,” said Mark N. Eagan, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “We are proud to join the Power New York coalition and look forward to aiding this effort.”
“The Port of Albany works at the crossroads of our economy, and there’s no doubt that upgrading our transmission infrastructure will help keep our economy moving forward,” said Rich Hendrick, General Manager, Port of Albany. “The current power grid is aging and outdated. Modernizing the system will create jobs and ensure we’re able to meet the needs of the 21st Century businesses that will lead us into a prosperous future.”
“A strong regional transportation system depends on a reliable energy system. The Capital District Transportation Authority is pleased to join the effort to upgrade New York’s power grid and rehabilitate our aging energy infrastructure,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile.
“Our transmission system is aging and putting the region’s businesses at risk of an unreliable power system. Upgrading the system is critical to ensure New Yorkers have access to clean, affordable, and reliable power,” said Chuck Steiner, President & CEO of the Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce. “Not only will upgrading the transmission system increase reliability, it will create up to 11,000 desperately needed jobs and generate nearly $2 billion for struggling communities around the state. That is something I am willing to Power Up for.”
“The Galesi Group takes pride in bringing economic development to the Capital Region. As such, we fully support upgrading and modernizing the area’s power infrastructure,” said Galesi Group Chief Operating Officer Dave Buicko. “This effort will spur renewed investment in the Upstate region and provide needed system capacity.”
The Public Service Commission will meet in June to determine next steps for this process.