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Con Edison’s Reliable Clean City Project Crosses Halfway Mark in Queens

Con Edison is halfway done with the Queens portion of the Reliable Clean City project, a major electric infrastructure upgrade that will deliver increasingly renewable power to New York City residents for decades to come. The work in Queens is on schedule and on budget, with completion expected in spring 2023.

Construction began earlier this year on the Reliable Clean City projects, a trio of new transmission lines and related substation expansions that will help enable the eventual retirement of fossil fuel generators in neighborhoods such as Astoria.

The projects will unlock a greater flow of electricity across New York City, strengthen reliability of service for customers, and help the state meet its ambitious climate and clean energy goals.

The Queens portion of the project includes the expansion of electric substations in Corona and Long Island City, and a new six-mile underground transmission line connecting the two substations. It will add 300 megawatts of transmission capacity in Queens, serving as an off-ramp for renewable energy as New York builds out its wind and solar power resources in the years ahead.

In addition to substation expansion, the work accomplished so far in Queens includes a series of new utility holes and partial installation of underground cable ducts which the new transmission cables will run through.

“The Reliable Clean City projects offer an on-the-ground demonstration of our commitment to building an energy system capable of delivering 100 percent clean power by 2040,” said Richard David, Con Edison’s director of regional and community affairs in Queens. “These lines will carry wind, solar and hydropower to our customers while strengthening reliability of service, and we’re thankful for the continued support and cooperation of Queens residents while we complete this landmark project.”

Readying the Grid for Vehicle and Building Electrification

Following the work in Queens, similar underground feeder lines will be installed in Brooklyn and Staten Island by 2025, with total planned investments of $800 million across the trio of Reliable Clean City projects. The Queens portion of the project represents a $275 million investment.

All told, the projects will add 900 megawatts of transmission capacity across New York City, facilitating the electrification of vehicles and heating systems in buildings.

By helping to bring renewable power generated outside of New York City into the outer boroughs, the Reliable Clean City projects will pave the way for the eventual retirement of fossil fuel-based peaking power plants. Peaker plants play an important role today in keeping the lights on during periods of high energy demand, but they contribute to air pollution locally and climate change globally, and their negative impacts are felt most severely in environmental justice communities.

New York’s Public Service Commission approved the Reliable Clean City projects in 2021, and they received support from environmental justice organizations.

In addition to investing in transmission lines that will bring power to customers, Con Edison is strengthening its distribution grid and facilitating the expansion of clean energy resources within New York City and Westchester County, including customer-owned solar panels, battery energy storage systems and electric vehicle chargers.

“We are grateful for Con Edison’s open door and communication with our office,” said Florence Koulouris, District Manager, Community Board 1, Queens. “This partnership has made a difference in the smooth implementation of this landmark infrastructure project. We are happy to play a role in the delivery of reliable and clean power to our communities, and to see the project finish in our district and move forward towards completion.”

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $66 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam, and serves 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. Through Consolidated Edison Inc.’s subsidiary, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, the company is the second-largest owner of solar electric projects in North America.