New York became in 2019 the fourth state of the whole nation with the most renewable-powered electricity, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) informed.
According to its Electric Power Monthly report, New York had 39,4 million megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable electricity generation, which is more than any other state of the east of the Mississippi. It also accounts for the 30% of total state’s electricity generation.
Hydro is the main source of electric generation in New York’s mix. Nearly 31 million MWh of hydroelectric power were generated in 2019, which accounts for 78% of the total renewable electric generation of the state; and to 23% of the total.
According to EIA’s report, the Robert Moses Niagara hydroelectric plant is the main responsible for this renewable generation; it is located downstream from Niagara Falls and has a capacity of 2,4 gigawatts. It is the second largest hydroelectric in the country, just behind Washington’s Grand Coulee dam.
On the other hand, wind is the second-largest source of renewable-powered electricity in New York. It generated nearly 4,5 million MWh in 2019; 11% of all renewable generation in the state, and 3% of its total generation.
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Solar and Biomass in renewable electricity mix
By the end of 2019, according to EIA’s Annual Electric Generator Inventory, New York had 1,132 turbines at 27 wind plants.
Finally, solar, which stands as the smaller part of New York’s renewable mix, generated nearly 2.4 million MWh of electricity in 2019. Almost all of this generation comes from small-scale installations at residencies or commercial rooftops.
Biomass also played a part, with 1,9 MWh of power generation in that year.
In New York, as in the whole nation, a shift from coal trend is on the rise. Natural gas and renewables are becoming more common sources for power in the state since the 2000’s. In 2005, coal use for electricity dropped to 14%; in 2019, coal represented 1% of the mix, while natural gas grew to 36% from 22% in the same period.
New York has a net-zero carbon emissions commitment by 2050, and a 100% carbon free electricity generation by 2040.