Lanahan detailed that New York would need to double or triple its electricity generation under state climate mandates as it seeks to electrify most household appliances and building heating systems, as well as vehicles . According to NYISO, between 111-124 gigawatts (GW) of new or modified generation must be in service by 2040, triple the amount from today’s existing thermal generating capacity of 37.4 GW.
Lanahan observed that a successful transition of the electric system requires a careful balance between retiring traditional generation and new resource investment. He cautioned that, “retirements of traditional generators risk are beginning to outpace construction of new resources, due to various factors.”
When discussing electric capacity and reliability, Lanahan indicated, “Reliability margins are shrinking. Thermal generators needed for reliability are retiring or schedule to retire. We must keep our eye on investment goals or we will find ourselves in a reliability situation in the next few years.”
IPPNY emphasized that New York must address the costs of keeping the lights on if nuclear, hydrogen, natural gas, oil, and other fuel sources are banned from use. Donohue highlighted NYISO’s observation that New York City’s reliability margin is only 50 megawatts (MW) in 2025. He questioned how NYC can keep its lights on if certain peaker plants scheduled to retire under DEC emissions rules retire.
Donohue said, “To give folks perspective, 1 GW is required to power 750,000 homes. That is the massive size of power needed just for 1 GW of intermittent renewable power. NYISO reports we need 20 GW of intermittent power.”