Each spring communities around NY State celebrate Earth Day as a way to come together to protect the planet and encourage innovative ideas to power the future. Activities range from recycling drives and nature walks, to marches and a variety of cleanup events. In addition to these fun environmentally friendly activities, the Empire State continues to lead the way in environmental stewardship.
New York’s Clean Energy Workhorse: Hydro-power
New York is leading the nation in the field of renewable energy. New solar power is being installed across the state, and New York leading the way to be on 50% renewable power by 2030. While wind farms and solar are continuing to gain traction hydro-power currently meets 17% of New York’s power needs, and has been a proven source of power for the state since the Niagara Falls plant opened in 1882.
Currently, New York is working to upgrade improve the efficiency and infrastructure of its hydro-power systems as a source of low-cost clean energy. By improving the efficiency of its power generation turbines at existing plants, such as the Higley hydroelectric station in St. Lawrence county and by retrofitting non-power producing plants with turbines, New York could stand to gain at least 295 MW of clean, domestically produced power.
With minimal impact on the environment, and zero CO2 emissions, hydro-power is the workhorse of New York’s renewable power production.
New York is leading the way in our nation’s energy future. It is taking big steps to make sure that renewables go from being fringe-energy producers to mainstream necessities. Investments such as these bring jobs to local communities, clean power to residents, and encourage governments to invest in their infrastructure and make life better for everyone on Earth Day and every day thereafter.
Photo by Melissa Martin