Con Edison completes Queens Clean Energy project

Published on May 05, 2023 by Liz Carey

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A new six-mile-long transmission line will provide Queens Con Edison customers with more renewable energy and allow for inefficient power plants to be retired, Con Edison said Wednesday.

The line, which connects a substation in Corona with one in Long Island City, is a milestone for the region as it transitions to clean energy, the company said. The company said the line and associated substations upgrades will improve grid reliability, especially since a fossil fuel-fired power plant in Astoria closed on May 1.

“Today marks a significant step forward in providing the infrastructure to reliably deliver clean energy to our customers while enabling the closure of inefficient, fossil fuel-burning peaker plants,” said Tim Cawley, the chairman and CEO of Con Edison. “As we make clear in our Clean Energy Commitment, we are strong supporters of New York’s climate goals, and we’re committed to building a grid that can carry 100 percent clean energy by 2040.”

The line is part of the company’s Reliable Clean City program – three projects that began in 2021 to help retire fossil fuel plants and transition to clean energy. The closure of the fossil fuel plants will reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, the company said, while moving the state closer to environmental goals. The closed plant, which NRG owned, is a “peaker plant” that operates mainly during times of high energy demand. Others slated for closure are also peaker plants. These plants, officials said, tend to be older and less efficient and tend to impact the health of nearby residents.

“New York City has the dirtiest grid in the state, and we must shift to clean, renewable energy to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon future,” said NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. “To do so, we first need to invest in our power grid. The Queens Reliable Clean City project is a critical component toward greening our electricity supply, retiring polluting peaker plants, and meeting our ambitious climate goals.”

Reliable Clean City transmission projects in Brooklyn and Staten Island will also require substation upgrades, and work on them is scheduled to finish in 2025.

Officials said the Queens line will be able to carry 300Mw of power. Officials said that all the Reliable Clean City projects will add 900 Mw of transmission capacity across New York City.