Con Edison Initiatives Lead the Way in New York’s Transition to Clean Energy

man walking on a field of solar panels

Con Edison marked a significant milestone in the region’s transition to clean energy when it recently completed a six-mile-long transmission line from Corona to Long Island City. The new line, which will carry increasingly renewable electricity, allowed for the closure of a fossil fuel-fired power plant in Astoria.

“It is imperative that we replace polluting fossil fuel energy with clean, green renewable energy,” said James F. Gennaro, New York City Council member and chair of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection. “Renewable energy will yield tremendous benefits to local communities in terms of improved air quality and will benefit our fight against climate change.”

The Queens line is the first leg of the Reliable Clean City project (RCCP) that Con Edison began in 2021 to reduce carbon emissions and co-pollutants. By 2025, Con Edison expects to complete transmission projects and substation upgrades in Brooklyn and Staten Island — an $800 million project that will add 900 megawatts of electric capacity across New York City.

con edison initiatives

As building owners transition away from fossil fuels and more consumers adopt electric vehicles, Con Edison is moving decidedly to renewables to help meet the State’s climate goals, among the most ambitious in the nation. The company’s goals, as mandated by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), include building an electric grid that delivers 100% clean energy by 2040 and transitioning away from fossil fuels to a net-zero economy by 2050.

Increasing amounts of that power will be clean energy as the state adds to its portfolio of renewable generation, including 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind mandated by the CLCPA by 2035.

To that end, Con Edison will soon begin building the Brooklyn Clean Energy Hub, an interconnection point for offshore wind or other clean energy resources that can feed directly into our grid in the heart of the city. The project will give Con Edison’s Hudson Avenue generating station a reboot of sorts: Three decommissioned, gas-burning power plants and a long-vacant building on the site will soon be razed to make way for the new $810 million Clean Energy Hub.

With a sleek design, solar panels, and a green roof on the Brooklyn waterfront, the Clean Energy Hub will be one of the first offshore wind interconnection points within the five boroughs. It will accommodate 1,500 megawatts of new wind projects set to be built in the New York Bight, an area of ocean about 150 miles off the coast of Long Island and New Jersey.

Eight wind turbines in an offshore wind farm in the North Sea

Construction on the site is expected to begin in mid-2024 with the entire project being energized before the summer of 2028.

Combined, the Reliable Clean City project and Brooklyn Clean Energy Hub create a fundamental change in the way we receive electricity and how clean that power is. “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,” said Tim Cawley, the chairman and CEO of Con Edison.

Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, underscored what’s at stake with these projects. “Con Edison recognizes that climate change is a harsh reality and that we need dramatic action to keep our city and planet safe and sustainable.”

For more information check out the Con Edison website here.