New Yorkers face freeze over council’s bid to kill national grid upgrade

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This week, the New York Public Service Commission is holding public hearings on National Grid’s proposal to add two state-of-the-art, high-efficiency vaporizers to the Greenpoint Energy Center. This will allow us to meet current customer demand for heat during the coldest days of the year while reducing the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Some progressive city council members, however, are playing politics with the project, even introducing a resolution urging the commission to deny the permit. If their efforts succeed, the most at-risk New Yorkers and small business owners in the city will pay the price.

National Grid is dedicated to responding to the threat of climate change. In line with benchmarks set out in the Paris Agreement and Science Based Targets initiative, as well as New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we are committed to reaching net zero by 2050 and, in April, we released our Fossil Free Vision to completely eliminate fossil fuels from our gas and electric systems in the United States.

But the transition to clean energy cannot happen overnight. As we move toward a fossil-free future, we must continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable service to New Yorkers who rely on us to heat their homes, cook their meals and power their businesses.

In addition to providing affordable heat, the new vaporizers work more efficiently than existing equipment.
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Vaporizers are essential to provide warmth on the coldest days of the year. During the summer and other periods of low demand, National Grid liquefies and stores natural gas. Then, when temperatures drop, we use vaporizers to reheat this stored gas so it can be distributed to customers across the city. It doesn’t happen often — as little as two or three days a year — but when it does, it’s essential to keeping New Yorkers warm. There is no plan B.

Everyone deserves reliable warmth during the coldest days of winter, but it’s especially important for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Seniors, people with chronic illnesses and families suffer the most from service interruptions. The vaporizers offered are an important backup resource to ensure that all of our customers stay safe and warm all year round.

As well as providing affordable heat, new vaporizers operate more efficiently than existing equipment, meaning they can provide the same vital service with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the ultimate goal remains to eliminate fossil gases from our heating systems, but this is an important step in the right direction.

Contrary to false claims this project will extend New York’s dependence on fossil fuels and create health and environmental risks for surrounding communities, independent assessments have concluded that there are no other viable short-term solutions to meet the peak demand of the coming winters – and emissions will be lower than today.

Indeed, it is these publicity efforts to prevent approval of this vital infrastructure that puts our customers – the council’s constituents – at risk. Until renewable energy sources replace the power provided by current systems, projects like this are not only necessary but essential to keeping New Yorkers safe.

LNG vaporizers are like seat belts. Most of the time, it’s just a precaution. But in an emergency, they are vitally important. Right now, New York is at greater risk of an emergency if we don’t upgrade the Greenpoint Energy Center to meet the growing demand for heat.

Fortunately, there is a solution that will allow us to meet peak demand, even on the coldest days, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing our ultimate goal of fossil-free heat. The elected officials who oppose this plan are looking to score political points at the expense of their constituents – and conservationists are trying to define energy policy 140 characters at a time.

One would hope that our elected leaders would support sensible energy policy based on facts and what is practical for customers, not the idealism of a few who are not responsible for providing safe, reliable and affordable energy. to anyone.

Bryan Grimaldi is the vice president of corporate affairs for National Grid in New York.

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