New York City makes record-breaking new investments in clean energy and electric vehicles; releases roadmap for aggressive emissions reductions from government operations
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today with the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) a slate of bold actions to tackle the climate crisis and advance a green and just future in New York City. The announced efforts and investments surge clean energy in the city’s electricity grid, accelerate the transition to electrified transportation, and reduce emissions from city government buildings and operations. These actions will reduce climate emissions from city government by nearly 70% by 2030 from 2006 levels. All three announcements advance New York City’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent the most devastating impacts of the climate crisis.
Today’s announced actions include:
- New finalized contract to power New York City with wind, solar, and hydropower from upstate New York and Canada, catalyzing the development of two major green energy transmission projects. If approved by the New York State Public Service Commission, these projects will be the largest transmission upgrades in the last 50 years, helping meet the city’s growing energy needs. They will bring enough clean energy per year to power more than 2.5 million homes and will increase electricity reliability and resiliency. This agreement means New York City government will power its operations with 100% clean energy by 2025.
- $420 million in investments to accelerate the timeline to achieve an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet and reduce emissions. These record-breaking investments, the largest in history to electrify a public vehicle fleet, include the purchase of over 1,250 electric vehicles in 2022 and the installation of at least 1,776 fast chargers by 2030. The Mayor has also signed an Executive Order setting the most aggressive fleet electrification targets in the country, including requiring all passenger cars and light trucks in the City vehicle fleet to be electric no later than 2030. It also requires a review of every SUV in city government and to eliminate any unnecessary use of SUVs.
- A new Executive Order signed by the Mayor that further increases climate change mitigation ambitions within city government operations. To meet the aggressive requirements of the Executive Order, DCAS has also issued a new Local Law 97 Implementation Action Plan, which complies with and surpasses the City’s legal requirements to reduce emissions from city government operations 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. The City has committed $4.6 billion over the coming decade to achieve these goals.
“Our city is leading the way in the fight against climate change, putting people and the planet first,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These historic investments will touch New Yorkers for generations to come, by cleaning our air, making drastic cuts to climate pollution, and building a clean, sustainable city for all.”
“These record investments reflect the City’s unwavering commitment to fighting the climate crisis,” said Dawn M. Pinnock, Acting Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “Climate change is happening now, and city government must be aggressive in taking steps now to reduce emissions and break its dependence on fossil fuels.”
“This historic move away from polluting fossil fuels is an investment in our communities,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. “We thank our partners across the State and our colleagues at NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Service for implementing ambitious and measurable climate actions that put health and equity first and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”
“NYSERDA is proud to partner with New York City to provide millions of residents, especially those living in underserved communities, with clean, reliable renewable power – helping to transition both the City and State away from fossil fuels and significantly improve air quality,” said Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “This contract helps to make the scale of the State’s first of its kind transmission and renewable energy projects possible and significantly reduces the cost impacts of delivering this influx clean energy for New Yorkers statewide. ”
With the three new announcements, the City unveiled the following actions:
100% Clean Energy for New York City Government Operations
New York City has finalized its contract with the New York State Energy Research Development and Authority (NYSERDA) to power New York City government with 100% renewable power. This contract helps to support NYSERDA’s Tier 4 renewable energy program, which aims to responsibly deliver a significant increase of renewable energy to the City and will also support future development of offshore wind. In November, NYSERDA submitted the final contracts for awarded Tier 4 projects to New York's Public Service Commission for public comment and approval.
The City’s agreement with NYSERDA will help to support the Clean Path NY (CPNY) project, developed by Clean Path New York LLC, and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project, developed by H.Q. Energy Services Inc. The Champlain Hudson Power Express project is slated to phase-in clean energy transmission to New York City in 2025, followed by Clean Path New York in 2027.
Combined, the projects will:
- Produce approximately 18 million megawatt-hours of upstate and Canadian renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 2.5 million homes;
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77 million metric tons over the next 15 years, the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road;
- Deliver up to $7.4 billion in overall societal benefits statewide inclusive of greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements;
- Provide up to $4.4 billion in public health benefits over 15 years that will result from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of school or work missed, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs;
- Create approximately 10,000 family-sustaining jobs statewide with $8.2 billion in economic development investments, including developer-committed investment to support disadvantaged communities to help accelerate the City and State's economic recovery from COVID-19;
- Include commitments to prevailing wage and project labor agreements to ensure quality, good-paying jobs for New Yorkers;
- Include provisions for partnership with and protection of indigenous communities, including a partnership with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke for joint ownership of the CHPE project, and a purchase agreement with the Apuiat wind farm, jointly owned by Innu communities in Quebec.
The projects will help reduce the City's reliance on fossil fuels, lower carbon emissions and significantly improve air quality and public health in disadvantaged communities. It will also help meet the Mayor’s commitment to power city government operations with 100% clean and renewable electricity by 2025. New York City government, on an average day, uses as much electricity as the state of Vermont.
Green Fleet Investments
The City of New York will invest $420 million in electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and alternative fuels to accelerate the transition to an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet. The new investments, the largest ever made in the electrification of a public vehicle fleet, will help the City achieve an all-electric fleet by 2035, five years sooner than the previous goal of 2040. All light-duty, medium-duty, and non-emergency heavy-duty vehicles will be converted to electric by 2035. This entails the most aggressive fleet electrification target in the country, and includes earlier restrictions for passenger cars and light trucks requiring electrification by 2030. New York City operates nearly 30,000 vehicles, the largest municipal fleet in the country.
With the new investments to facilitate the transition to an all-electric fleet, DCAS will:
- Begin a central replacement program for the City’s gas-powered vehicles, starting with at least 1,250 in 2022. DCAS is in the process of finalizing a contract with a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) vendor to supply many of these vehicles.
- Install at least 1,776 fast electric vehicle chargers spanning all five boroughs by 2030. DCAS will make at least 100 of the 1,776 fast chargers open to the public. DCAS completed its 100th fast charger last month, with 11 open to the public, and is beginning work on an additional 275.
- Add 180 portable mobile electric vehicle chargers and solar carports. These solar carports and portable chargers can be moved from location to location, supporting flexible and emergency charging as the City of New York transitions the fleet to electric vehicles. Solar carports can fully power vehicles without a connection to the electric grid. Both technologies can serve as a power back-up for electric vehicles in the event of a power outage.
- Expand the use of other alternative fuels, including renewable diesel, a 99% petroleum-free alternative to traditional diesel fuel. Renewable diesel is made from domestic waste products, achieves a 60% greenhouse gas reduction, and features lower tailpipe emissions than fossil fuel. It also is manufactured to the same specification as regular diesel, enabling seamless use by the City fleet and storage in the City’s fuel storage tanks. Renewable diesel will be used in the truck fleet until electric vehicle units are available.
- Transition all vehicles operated by senior City officials to be exclusively electric by June 30, 2023. DCAS and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will also conduct a review of the suitability of each SUV used in city government to end the unnecessary use of such vehicles.
The Mayor signed Executive Order 89 to codify this transition. The Order also provides DCAS with additional staffing and funding to support and maintain the electric vehicle charging network. Only specialized emergency trucks, like fire engines, will be allowed to maintain the original 2040 target date for electrification if suitable replacement models are not yet available on the market.
The investments announced today are in addition to $75 million in investments in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure announced in September 2021.
City Government Emissions Reductions Executive Order and Plan
Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed Executive Order 90 to support climate change mitigation within city government operations. To meet the requirements in the Executive Order, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) also released the Local Law 97 (LL97) Implementation Action Plan. The Plan offers a roadmap to meet the targets set in LL97 of 40% emissions reductions from city government operations by 2025 and 50% by 2030 (from a 2006 baseline), and is slated to surpass the targets to achieve a nearly 70% reduction in emissions by 2030.
The City has committed $4.6 billion over the coming decade to achieve these goals. In addition to establishing deep emissions reductions for municipal facilities, Executive Order 90 also creates a Chief Decarbonization Officer at DCAS to ensure compliance and decarbonization officers at agencies to manage reductions. It also requires agency-by-agency emissions reporting and the creation of a “carbon budget” as part of the capital plan. Agencies are required to report the emissions impact of new investments to DCAS and the NYC Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Under the LL97 Implementation Action Plan, the City government will take aggressive climate action, including:
- Invest in cost-effective emissions reductions opportunities
- Achieve a 20% reduction in building energy consumption by 2030
- Convert more building heating to electric power
- Expand solar installations on City properties to generate more than 110 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy per year by 2025, enough to power 26,000 New York City homes
- Invest in energy and emissions projects at municipal wastewater and water treatment facilities
- Enhance critical social infrastructure (e.g., cooling centers, hospitals, schools, and libraries) to support the City’s ongoing recovery from COVID-19
- Reduce the prevalence of pollutants resulting from in-city combustion to improve air quality for the city’s residents
- Further develop the market for investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy to spur private investment and the growth of the energy management workforce
The Action Plan is designed to balance policy compliance, technical and practical feasibility, and cost considerations, and will result in significant emissions reductions from City government infrastructure and energy system upgrades in City buildings. Each City agency has actionable targets and an initial pathway to meeting them under the Action Plan.
The LL97 Implementation Action Plan builds upon on other recent steps the City has taken on climate action. Through 2019, the City has achieved a 23% reduction in its annual emissions from a 2006 baseline. The Action Plan ensures that New York City continues to lead the way for other cities around the world working to address the climate crisis.
“The actions and vision we announced today will create a more livable city for all New Yorkers,” said Anthony Fiore, Deputy Commissioner for Energy Management at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “The clean energy contracts are precipitating something that has not been accomplished in the last 50 years – the build out of new transmission lines into the City. This investment is resulting in not just one, but two new transmission lines, providing clean energy at a scale that New Yorkers have never seen before. This clean energy supply will complement the significant energy efficiency work contemplated by the Local Law 97 Implementation Action Plan (IAP). The IAP is the culmination of a year-long effort to outline a path forward for New York City to achieve the ambitious emissions reduction targets mandated by Local Law 97 of 2019. The DCAS Division of Energy Management is grateful to the many stakeholders across the State and City, including all City agencies and the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, for their partnership and thought leadership in this effort.”
“Today’s announcement is the largest specific investment in electrification yet made by any public fleet,” said Keith Kerman, Deputy Commissioner for Fleet Management at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services and NYC’s Chief Fleet Officer. “New York City is already an international leader in electrification of municipal vehicle fleets. We now have the resources and support to make an all-electric fleet a reality and soon. We challenge and encourage other public fleets to do the same.”
“Today's announcement will not only help us transform the City of New York's vehicle fleet, but also reaffirms our commitment to minority and women-owned businesses,” said Mersida Ibric, Deputy Commissioner for Procurement at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “We are proud that a M/WBE vendor will supply many of these vehicles and be part of this historic move.”
"We applaud the City's efforts to combat the climate crisis by investing in Tier 4 clean energy projects that will ensure New York City government is powered by 100% clean energy by 2025," said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "The investments the city is taking will reduce fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions, targeting the top two sources: buildings and transportation. These are all key initiatives to meet our New York's climate goals, and we thank the Mayor for taking action."