The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees recently approved $1.1 million in additional funding to help New York’s municipal and rural electric cooperative systems bring more hybrid and electric vehicles into their fleets.
The additional financial assistance, available through the Municipal and Rural Cooperative Electric Utilities Electric-Drive Vehicle Program, will expand a long-running clean energy partnership that encourages electric vehicle use and reduces greenhouse gas emissions across New York State, NYPA said in late July.
NYPA began the Municipal and Rural Cooperative Electric Utilities Electric-Drive Vehicle Program in 2003. In total, 86 vehicles have been placed with 25 cities, towns and villages across the state. The additional funding brings the current total allocated for the program to $12 million.
The NYPA funding provides zero-interest loans to NYPA’s municipal and rural electric cooperative system customers for the purchase of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles for use in their fleets, as well as associated battery charging equipment. Purchases often include passenger vehicles, pickup trucks, off-road specialty vehicles and heavy-duty utility bucket trucks. The funds are then recovered from customers over a period of up to three years through a surcharge on their NYPA electric bills.
The 51 municipal electric and rural electric cooperative utility systems have been NYPA customers since the Niagara Power Project began generating power in 1961, when approximately 765 megawatts (MW) of Niagara hydropower were legislatively mandated for their use.
NYPA reserves 54 MW of that hydropower to promote economic development within those municipal and cooperative service territories. Power from the reserve is allocated by the NYPA Board of Trustees to individual systems to meet the increased electric load resulting from eligible new or expanding businesses in their service area.
NYPA provides these communities with an array of energy-efficiency services and has helped install electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the public in support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative, an effort aimed at installing 10,000 charging stations by the end of the year.
Through NYPA’s EVolve NY program, NYPA is creating a fast-charging network across the state to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. More than 150 chargers, open to the public, are being installed along major interstate corridors, in five major cities and at New York City airports by the end of 2021.