Category Archives: Energy

Lake Champlain pipeline supported by environmental, business, and government leaders

The largest environmental watchdog group in the Adirondack Park, the Adirondack Council, has thrown its support behind a proposed natural gas pipeline crossing Lake Champlain from Vermont to International Paper’s Ticonderoga Mill.

“This will result in a dramatic drop in pollution for New York and for downwind areas of Vermont,” Adirondack Council Executive Director Willie Janeway said during a Nov. 18 public hearing on the proposed pipeline. “This would be welcome news not only for environmental reasons but for public health benefits. These are public benefits.”

Vermont Gas is proposing an additional transmission line from its Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project which will run from Vermont, under Lake Champlain, and to the IP Mill. The mill would then power their boiler with natural gas instead of No. 6 fuel oil.

“I hope (people) take note that things have changed in the Adirondacks,” Janeway added. “You have town and economic leaders talking about environmental responsibility. You have environmental engineers working with businesses to bring balance.”

The meeting was held by the New York State Public Service Commission, who will continue to take comments from the public through the end of the year.
Local government leaders have also come out in support of the project.

“They are trying to improve the environment by supplying fuel to IP which will cut their emissions by 50 percent,” Ticonderoga Supervisor Bill Grinnell said. “I would like to see IP continue as a successful company in this area. I really feel this is for the good in the community.”

Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors also attended to show their support for the project.
The proposal also received support from Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender, who also works with IP.

“We could not have as vibrant of a community if we did not have the strong corporate partner that IP is,” Lender said.
“Our board is unanimously behind the proposal to bring natural gas to IP,” Chairman Randy Douglas said. “We went through the closure of a paper mill in Jay, and we are still recovering from the effects. This is a lifeline for IP.”

The Business Council of New York State supports the project and is preparing comments that will be submitted to the state Department of Public Service (DPS).

The DPS will receive comments on the project known as case number 14-T-0406, through December 31.

Comments regarding the case can be submitted by email to [email protected]; by mail to Secretary Kathleen H. Burgess, NYS Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y., 12223-1350 (Re: Case 14-T-0406); or by accessing the case file through the DPS website and selecting the “post comments” link.

Verizon’s total green energy investments in New York exceed $60 Million with new Long Island solar project

Business Council member Verizon has begun work on the installation of a new solar energy system to provide power to Verizon’s Long Island headquarters complex in Garden City. The new solar project will place more than 7,000 SunPower solar panels on the roof of Verizon’s building which already generates 6 million kilowatt hours of green energy annually from a fuel-cell system built in 2005.

The Garden City solar project is expected to be completed and operational by the end of this year. It is one of Verizon’s many on-site green energy projects in the New York City area: Fuel cells at five New York City telecommunications-switching locations (one each in Staten Island and Queens, and three in Brooklyn) and at a data center in Elmsford in Westchester County. Altogether, Verizon has invested more than $60 million in green energy in New York.

Upon completion of the new Long Island solar project, Verizon will operate more than 6.7 megawatts of green energy systems in the state. The combined fuel cell and solar energy systems will produce more than 40 million kilowatt hours of green energy annually. Verizon’s total green energy efforts in New York are expected to offset more than 4,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or the equivalent of powering more than 3,000 homes annually.

remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network.

All of Verizon’s energy-efficiency strategies support the company’s ultimate goal of cutting its carbon intensity – carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through Verizon’s global wired and domestic wireless networks – in half by 2020.

For more information, please visit the Verizon News Center.

Election results show support for natural gas development

Supporters of natural gas development are pointing to election victories by supporters of gas drilling as evidence of strong voter support for natural gas development.

Karen Moreau of the New York State Petroleum Council said G.O.P. victories across the nation and in upstate New York demonstrated strong support for natural gas drilling here. She said Democrats and Republicans alike in other states supported natural gas development.

“These states are seeing the benefits and ability of the oil and natural gas industry to responsibly develop American energy,” Moreau said. ”

The Joint Landowner’s Coalition of New York, a pro-drilling group based in the gas-rich Southern Tier, attributed support for natural gas drilling to some key Republican victories including State Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton and Rep. Tom Reed.

“These election results are a clear mandate,” he said. “The people of the Southern Tier want what’s best for upstate New York—safe, responsible natural gas development which will help clean the air, provide jobs and restore our communities,” coalition president Dan Fitzsimmons said.

ReEnergy Black River Awarded Contract to Provide Power to Fort Drum

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a 20-year contract to Business Council member ReEnergy Black River. Under the terms of this renewable energy supply agreement, ReEnergy Black River will provide secure, renewable electricity to Fort Drum in Northern New York.

“This is good news not only for ReEnergy, but for Fort Drum and the North Country region. This will enhance energy security and position Fort Drum as a leader in meeting the military’s ambitious renewable energy goals,” said Larry D. Richardson, the chief executive officer of ReEnergy Holdings. “The ReEnergy team is proud to assist the U.S. Army in meeting its renewable energy goals, and looks forward to enhancing the North Country’s green energy economy. “

The Defense Logistics Agency, the entity that awarded the contract, provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and combined and allied forces with logistics, acquisition and technical services.

ReEnergy Black River submitted a proposal in Spring 2013 to the Defense Logistics Agency as part of a competitive procurement process to provide renewable power to Fort Drum, a U.S. Army installation that is home to 37,000 soldiers and family members and employs almost 4,000 civilians.

The federal government is increasing its demand for long-term renewable energy as a result of renewable goals established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Executive Order 13423, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In addition, the Army has established a goal to achieve 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025.

This contract is the largest renewable energy project in the history of the U.S. Army.

Conflicting opinions on gas drilling in new poll

A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll of registered voters in the Southern Tier and the Catskills produced some conflicting opinions regarding natural gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing in those regions.

In the southern tier, 52 percent agreed that hydraulic fracturing would generate economic activity and tax revenues, while 55 percent it could generate jobs that are much-needed in the region.
Forty-two percent of voters surveyed said it is important to harvest the abundant supply of national gas that is currently inaccessible.

Still 51 percent of voters in the Southern Tier and 50 percent of voters in the Catskills would oppose the Department of Environmental Conservation, allowing gas drilling to move forward in their regions.

The Business Council supports the development of the state’s natural gas resources based on the state’s need for affordable energy and the significant economic activity and job growth such development would bring to regions, such as the Southern Tier, where unemployment is high and job opportunities are limited.

The cross tabs from the poll are available here.

With Lower Cost Power Corning Expands Canton Plant

Business Council member Corning Incorporated will expand its facility in Canton in St. Lawrence County creating 40 additional jobs at the site. Corning is receiving a low-cost power allocation from the New York Power Authority to support the more than $21 million capital expansion project. The firm has been allocated 2.1 megawatts (MW) of power, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today. Corning will add a total of 30,700 square feet to accommodate additional storage and an increase in production of high-fused silica glass used by the semiconductor industry.

Patrick Jackson, Director of Corning’s Global Energy Management, said, “This allocation by NYPA will reduce Corning’s energy cost, which is a major expenditure at the Canton plant.
The Business Council advocates for lower energy costs for New York businesses.

Corning is a world leader in specialty glass and ceramics and has locations in  various parts of New York state. The company is planning to expand its Canton facility by 23,500 square feet to greatly increase production at the facility, which supplies microchips for computers, cell phones and other electronics. A 7,200-square-foot warehouse is also part of the project. Corning is planning a formal ceremony for next month to mark the start of construction on the expansion project.

The low-cost hydropower will be provided to Corning under a seven-year contract and is drawn from a block of St. Lawrence electricity known as Preservation Power. In addition to the new permanent jobs, which are already being added, the capital investments by the company are expected to support dozens of temporary construction jobs.

Entergy on proposal to force outages at Indian Point

Vice President of License Renewal for Entergy Nuclear Operations Fred Dacimo testified today at a public hearing relating to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) staff proposal for Indian Point, calling the proposal “a terrible idea for Indian Point, New Yorkers, and our environment.”

The proposal seeks to require permanent, simultaneous outages at both Indian Point units annually for 42, 62 or 92 days, or a combination of a cooling tower at one unit and permanent outages at the other unit.  Dacimo’s testimony contended that forced outages are not grounded in science, run contrary to DEC practice, and ignore a proven smarter solution that will resolve concerns about Indian Point’s aquatic impacts.

Entergy said forcing outages at Indian Point is unnecessary and inconsistent with regulatory precedent.  Dacimo also noted in his testimony that it would have serious consequences to human health and safety, the New York economy, and the local environment.

Noting that Indian Point right now is fully protective of the Hudson River ecosystem and operates in accordance with its state and federal permits, Dacimo illustrated the numerous implications of the unnecessary forced summertime outages.  These include more pollution resulting from the need to replace Indian Point’s emissions-free energy with fossil fuels; more expensive power, as Indian Point’s lower cost power is taken off the market; and an increased chance of brownouts or even blackouts if Indian Point were turned off when demand is highest.

Entergy is currently seeking a 20-year license renewal for Indian Point. While the state must approve the plant’s water quality and water discharge permits, the DEC staff’s decision and Entergy’s subsequent filing is separate from the NRC’s ongoing review process.

NYSERDA announces new members appointed to board of directors

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced the appointment of six new members to its board and the reappointment of two current members.

Among those appointed are representatives of Business Council member companies including Kenneth Daly, president of National Grid’s New York operations; and John McAvoy, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Con Edison Inc.

“I look forward to working with these members as the expertise they bring in the energy, environment and financial sectors will lend a very valuable voice to the authority as we aggressively accelerate the scale-up of clean energy markets,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York and Chairman of the NYSERDA Board of Directors.

“It is a pleasure to welcome these members to the NYSERDA Board. They bring great insight and experience in our energy systems and markets, and are thought-leaders on our energy, environment and clean-energy economy challenges,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

Kenneth Daly is President of the New York business of National Grid, which serves 4 million customers in New York State. In 1988, Daly joined National Grid’s predecessor, Brooklyn Union, which later became KeySpan and recently served the company in London for two years as Global Financial Controller. Daly graduated from St. Francis College and has earned both an MBA in finance from St. John’s University and an MS in human resource management from New York University. He achieved the distinguished Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2002.  Daly is a member of the Boards of British American Business (BAB), Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) and St. Francis College, where he has been an adjunct professor for 20 years.  Since 1992, he has been the Director of the St. Johns’ University Executive-in-Residence Program and is also a graduate of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program and a member of the Long Island Energeia Program.

John McAvoy is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Edison Inc., and CEO of its principal subsidiary, Con Edison Co. of New York Inc.  McAvoy joined Con Edison in 1980 and has served in positions of increasing responsibility. In his last position, he served as president and CEO of Orange and Rockland (O&R) Utilities Inc., a Con Edison subsidiary that operates in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to his leadership position at O&R, he was senior vice president of Central Operations.  McAvoy serves on the board of directors of Con Edison, the American Gas Association, the Edison Electric Institute, The Business Council of New York State Inc. and the Partnership for New York City. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.  He holds an MBA from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Manhattan College. He is a graduate of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program.

Other new members include the Honorable Sherburne Abbott, a Syracuse University sustainability professor and a former senior science advisor to President Obama; Jigar Shah, author of Creating Climate Wealth and founder of SunEdison; Charles Bell, programs director for Consumers Union, who works on consumer policy issues, including energy and environment; and Jay Koh a managing director and partner at Siguler Guff, who previously led the federal U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp.’s (OPIC) $2.6 billion active emerging markets private equity program.

The reappointed members are Elizabeth Thorndike, an environmental policy expert, and Mark Willis, a community-development banking expert who is currently a Resident Research Fellow at New York University.


Leadership Forum on Energy Policy

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., Marist College, and the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute, cohosted the 2014 Renewable Energy Conference — A Leadership Forum on Energy Policy: Changing Federal and State Energy Markets and Impacts on Renewable Supply today at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The conference examined the impacts of technology as well as federal and state policy changes on the competitive bulk electric market place, in addition to the deployment, and pricing of renewable supply sources.

The Dean of Marist’s School of Management, Lawrence Singleton, Ph.D, emceed the event and Allan Page, chair of The Hudson Renewable Energy Institute welcomed the crowd. Business Council President Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. spoke about the importance of energy and business.

Many leading energy experts spoke at the conference, including prominent energy policy expert and recently appointed Energy and Finance Chairman for New York State Richard Kauffman.  Other experts spoke from GE Power and Water, Renewable Energy; National Grid; Central Hudson Gas & Electric; Constellation Energy; EarthKind Solar Energy, IBM Corporation, Couch White, LLP; Winston & Strawn LLP; Dutchess County; in addition George M. Drosdowich, Esq.

Conference sponsors included BQ Energy, LLC; Taylor Biomass Energy; Advanced Control Systems.  Exhibitors included ACT BioEnergy; Courtney Strong; NYSERDA; National Grid; and Taylor Biomass Energy.

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Entergy in the “Editorial Spotlight”

Business Council member Entergy participated in an “Editorial Spotlight” with The Journal News last week to discuss the Indian Point Energy Center’s operations and license renewal.

Entergy Wholesale Commodities President Bill Mohl, Vice President of Operations License Renewal Fred Dacimo, Vice President of External Affairs Michael Twomey, and Communications Manager Jerry Nappi discussed the importance of Indian Point’s continued operation and the economic, environmental, and grid reliability benefits it provides for New York City and State. They highlighted Indian Point’s value as a vital economic engine and its critical function in helping to stabilize power costs, enhance grid reliability, and improve air quality in the region.

Mohl stressed that three key objectives must be met in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of an electric system: reliable service to customers; environmental sustainability; and economic sustainability for both customers and investors. He noted Indian Point’s essential role in helping the state meet those goals.

Entergy is in the 8th year of an open and very comprehensive license renewal process. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended that Indian Point’s operating license be renewed for another 20 years following comprehensive and detailed safety and environmental reviews.

Spokesman Jerry Nappi said, “We believe the continued operation of existing nuclear facilities, aligns with New York’s key principles, such as the need for an energy source that is safe, clean and reliable. Nuclear power generated by Indian Point provides 25 percent of the electricity for New York City and Westchester with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.”

In addressing the topic of the plant’s environmental impact, Entergy officials said they are confident that Indian Point’s operations are fully protective of the Hudson River, and that claims to the contrary are not supported by the facts or the evidence. They noted that more than $100 million has been spent on studying the Hudson River’s ecosystem for more than 25 years and determined that Indian Point has no harmful impact on adult fish populations in the Hudson River.

Entergy stressed its proven track record of operating the Indian Point plants safely and re-affirmed its commitment to working closely with the NRC to ensure the continued safety of the facility.

To watch the webcast of Entergy’s meeting with The Journal News, please click here.