Moving NY to clean energy is top 2023 challenge – NY Power Authority head

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Switching to clean energy from natural gas-fired electricity is the New York power industry’s top challenge this year, New York Power Authority’s chief executive said on Monday.

“That’s the biggest challenge, I think, that we and the industry faces,” said Justin Driscoll, who heads the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, at the BNEF Summit.

New York State has set a target of generating 70% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030 and 100% zero-emission electricity a decade later.

As of last year, natural gas-fired power plants accounted for nearly three-fifths of New York’s generating capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Maintaining grid reliability, while moving natural gas plants offline will be a top challenge this year, Driscoll said. The state is also looking to expand its hydropower capabilities and battery storage as key measures to reaching its climate-driven goals, he said.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Richard Chang)