National Grid Sees Clean Energy Future on Long Island

September 28, 2022 by Dan McCue
National Grid Sees Clean Energy Future on Long Island
(National Grid)

NEW YORK — Renewable energy developer National Grid kicked off Climate Week NYC 2022 last week by unveiling a proposal to develop and deliver utility-scale clean energy across the length of Long Island.

According to the British/U.S. company, the island that gave us Billy Joel and suburbs is now ripe for transformation into an energy hub that could serve as an example for the Northeast region and, eventually, the entire United States.

National Grid spelled out its plan in its Northeast Clean Energy Vision, which is anchored by four distinct components and would build upon the company’s previously announced plans to eliminate fossil fuels from its gas and electric systems by 2050.

Those components include:

  • Developing more clean and carbon-free energy from offshore wind and solar sources.
  • Using renewables to create clean hydrogen to fuel power plants and heat homes.
  • Bringing more battery storage online to store wind and solar energy for later use; and
  • Modernizing and expanding transmission networks to deliver more clean and carbon-free energy to customers and communities.

“We believe that innovative regional hubs where clean energy solutions — wind, solar, hydrogen, storage and ways to deliver it — all interconnected, will deliver the clean energy customers and communities expect and deserve while drastically reducing emissions in the Northeast,” said William Hazelip, president of National Grid Ventures, U.S. Northeast, in a written statement. 

“The work is underway to get the right infrastructure in place both on Long Island, which is our initial focus, and throughout the region. Our Northeast Clean Energy Vision is about accelerating the transition to a fossil-free tomorrow affordably, safely, reliably and efficiently,” he added.

(National Grid)

National Grid is currently operating a number of solar and battery storage projects on Long Island.

These include the Calverton Solar Energy Center, which was created in a joint venture between National Grid and NextEra Energy Resources in Riverhead, New York.

The 23 MW center powers over 4,200 local households and reduces carbon emissions by 20,000 metric tons per year, equivalent to removing 4,000 cars from the road.

National Grid has also deployed battery energy storage systems in East Hampton and Montauk with NextEra Energy Resources. 

“These systems are decreasing emissions and accommodating demand during the busy summers on the southeast end of Long Island. Battery storage solutions go hand-in-hand with renewable energy sources, so we can provide reliable energy to our customers at all hours of the day,” the company said in its announcement.

Looking forward, National Grid believes hydrogen will play a larger role, not just in generation, but in creating clean heat. 

“We will blend clean hydrogen with renewable natural gas through our existing networks to provide cleaner building heat,” it said last week. “In partnership with the Town of Hempstead, New York, we are already building out one of the largest hydrogen blending projects in the Northeast and one of the first in the country, right on Long Island.”

“Long Island in particular is well-positioned to become a hydrogen hub, given the high energy demand in the New York City metro area and the potential to use offshore wind to produce green hydrogen; or, in other words, hydrogen that is produced using zero-carbon power,” the company said in a separate release.

“Once green hydrogen is produced, it can be used in a number of ways to decarbonize the energy system, heavy industry, transport and even heating for buildings. It can also provide long-duration storage to further enable renewable energy sources.”

National Grid is also developing offshore wind infrastructure in the New York Bight with the potential to host 3 gigawatts of capacity, through its Community Offshore Wind joint venture with RWE Renewables, according to the company. 

“The coming decade will be critical in the fight against climate change and all tools and technologies will need to be on the table to meet New York’s net zero by 2050 goal,” the company said. “This encompasses adding more clean energy to the grid, including solar and wind power, and exploring the potential of hydrogen.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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