Industry members are eager to hear further details of New York State's recently released plan to add up to 3,200 megawatts of power generation and transmission capacity to the state's grid with up to $5.7 billion to be invested via public-private partnerships.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Energy
The plan would add up to 3,200 megawatts of power generation and transmission capacity to the state's grid.

"Our members build [energy infrastructure] and are also businesses concerned about the cost of energy, which in New York State is above the national average. Our transmission system is very, very antiquated," says Mike Elmendorf, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of NYS. "It is good to see the governor and his administration looking at this. … But there are a lot of specifics [of the plan] yet to come, so we are looking forward to seeing those."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Energy Highway Task Force released the "blueprint" on Oct. 22, saying that the plan would provide enough energy to power about 3.2 million homes.

Included under the plan are investments of $1 billion for 1,000 MW of new transmission lines; a total of $695 million for new renewable energy work; $1.5 billion for modernizing existing plants; $1.3 billion for existing transmission and distribution projects; $250 million for developing "Smart Grid" technologies and creating "the most advanced energy management control center" in the U.S.; and an unspecified sum to initiate field studies of Atlantic Ocean offshore wind development potential.

The task force, created under the governor’s 2012-13 budget, reviewed 130 responses of 85 entities including investor-owned utilities, as well as private developers and investors earlier this year before formulating the plan.

"As we work to grow New York's economy, we need reliable, affordable and clean power to leverage significant private-sector investments, to allow businesses to grow, and to create jobs," Cuomo said in announcing the plan. He added that the blueprint positions the state as a leader in clean energy production and investment.