Submitted Testimony of Con Edison to the City Council Environmental Committee Oversight Hearing on Offshore Wind
Offshore wind (OSW) is an important part of achieving New York’s low-carbon future and Con Edison is playing an integral role in facilitating that future. Our Clean Energy Commitment demonstrates our leadership to deliver the transition to the clean energy future that our customers deserve and expect. Powering the lives of 10 million people, Con Edison’s future grid will support renewable energy sources like OSW and solar.
Our commitment to clean energy is real. We are the seventh largest solar-power producer in the world, and second largest in North America—we have large-scale solar and wind projects in 20 states and will continue to aggressively expand our development of renewable projects across the country. We want to use our expertise in developing, owning, and operating renewable generation here in New York, and are seeking statutory authority to do so.
Integrating OSW into the Grid
Con Edison will play an important role as the utility that physically connects many of the future OSW projects into the New York City high voltage electrical system.
Consistent with our Clean Energy Commitment, Con Edison recently proposed to the New York State Public Service Commission a portfolio of transmission and distribution projects that will support the integration of renewables and achievement of the state’s clean energy goals.
Among other things, these projects will support the integration of OSW and help reduce emissions from in-city fossil generation. This will help us reliably serve our customers with clean energy, even as demand for power increases with electrification of buildings and transportation. We are proposing immediately actionable (i.e., Phase 1) local transmission projects that will deliver renewable electricity to New Yorkers. These projects will be necessary to maintain reliability after higher emitting peaking units comply with new emissions limits.
In addition (i.e., Phase 2), we have identified local transmission projects that will make it possible to deliver 9,000 MW of OSW to energy customers throughout New York state. We coordinated with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to design an optimal plan to accommodate the injection of OSW into our two service territories. As part of that plan, our proposed Clean Energy Hubs will create interconnection points in New York City for new resources such as OSW. Creation of the Clean Energy Hubs will provide OSW developers with needed certainty regarding viable interconnection locations, facilitate the most competitive and efficient response to future OSW solicitations, and satisfy the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) 2 renewable and OSW goals in a timely and cost effective and efficient manner. These projects are needed, and soon, to reduce the costs of future NYSERDA solicitations.
Con Edison has also partnered with New York Power Authority, NYSERDA and LIPA to evaluate the different approaches used in Europe to develop OSW. That work was published in 2019 and is intended to help identify ways to reduce the cost for future OSW projects. We support a planned and coordinated approach to building the transmission and interconnection facilities for future OSW solicitations, which we believe will reduce the cost of integrating new renewables into our transmission system.
Facilitating Transmission of OSW Energy
Our affiliated company, Con Edison Transmission (CET), is also supporting the development of the transmission facilities needed to deliver the offshore wind energy to the electric transmission grid for Bay State Wind’s Sunrise Wind 2 project, which is currently being evaluated by NYSERDA. CET is also exploring a partnership with Bay State Wind to own the underwater transmission system for their Sunrise Wind 1 project, an 880MW wind farm which has an OREC (OSW renewable energy certificate) contract from NYSERDA and will interconnect on Long Island.
CET is also working on the development of an OSW transmission network to provide flexibility for potential OSW generation developers, improved operational control for reliability and resilience, and lower total cost for customers.
OSW is a key part of meeting the CLCPA as the installation of 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 is a mandated target. OSW provides multiple benefits and economic development for the New York area, such as green jobs, supply chain and port development, and animation of innovative technologies such as storage and green hydrogen. New York is uniquely positioned to be the center of OSW development in the United States and can leverage its many assets including its workforce and professional services, maritime ports and infrastructure, and its proximity to other OSW projects in the region. As New York continues to meet the dual challenges of economic recovery and a low carbon future, Con Edison is excited to be part of the solution