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Environmental Initiatives


New York City (NYC)

NYC Energy

Energy consumption in NYC has been rising for years due to population growth, new technological developments and a growing use of electronic devices. Energy costs are on the rise and NYC's approach to this problem is multifold: reduce consumption by becoming more energy efficient, address supply challenges by repowering existing plants for cleaner energy generation and expand supply of imported electricity and natural gas.

Buildings dominate NYC's skyline and are responsible for 74% of the city's carbon emissions. Therefore, reducing the carbon footprint of NYC buildings continues to be the focal point of implementing energy efficient initiatives. PlaNYC - A list of 127 initiatives for NYC to achieve sustainability, estimates that by 2030 all citywide energy efficiency initiatives will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5% of the 2005 baseline.

In December 2009, Mayor Bloomberg signed the "Greener, Greater Buildings Plan", which is a series of laws targeting energy conservation in NYC buildings. This plan will focus on the city's largest buildings, which comprise approximately 50% of the total area built within NYC. By 2030, the plan is expected to result in a 5% GHG emission reduction, a net savings of $7 Billion and the creation of some 17,800 jobs.

NYC has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30% by the year 2017. In 2013, NYC invested 10% of the annual energy budget on projects that reduce energy use and increase renewable generation. In 2012, NYC installed 453 Kilowatts (KW) of solar generation in 10 government buildings. A year later, NYC installed 1,855KW of additional solar generators through the power purchase agreement. In 2008, NYC and PlaNYC enlisted its world class community of building professionals to develop proposals for greening NYC's building code. Since this period, 39 of the approved 111 GCTIF proposals have been enacted.

NYC continues to expand its clean power supply. PlaNYC has outlined three major strategies to accomplish this goal: increase the importation of cleaner electricity sources and natural gas, re-power outmoded in-city plants with state-of-the art facilities and promote clean/efficient power generation. There is evidence that these repowering efforts are showing progress compared to existing plants. For example, in 2010, the Poletti Power Plant in Astoria, Queens was closed and replaced by a NYPA unit which has significantly lower emissions, and operates more efficiently than its predecessor.

NYC pursues two forms of clean distributed generation. One will capture and reuse the "waste heat" created during energy production, while the other will be renewable power. There are several projects that will be instrumental in expediting these initiatives. The City is currently working on a feasibility study that will construct a 700MW commercial scale wind power facility off shore, on the Rockaway Peninsula. The Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island is under consideration for a commercial scale wind project. Additionally, planners have secured a $1 million Department of Energy grant to construct a detailed solar map for NYC. This project is intended to be an online resourcel designed to help city residents evaluate solar power production and the potential energy advantages for buildings in which they live and work.

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