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New York City Overflowing with ConEd Energy Transition Projects

By District Energy posted 03-30-2022 20:34




New York City-focused Consolidated Edison Inc., the Big Apple’s largest utility, recently unveiled several energy and transmission projects to help the city decarbonize and meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.  

Among ConEd’s projects is a plan to decarbonize the largest steam system in the United States by transitioning its feed from natural gas to low-to-zero carbon gasses. The projects may include renewable natural gas (RNG) and green hydrogen. 

“We are re-imagining the steam system that has served New Yorkers reliably since 1882,” said ConEd’s Frank Cuomo, Steam Services general manager. “That means accelerating the adoption of energy efficiency, and supporting research and development of new technologies” to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.

ConEd’s long range plan for the steam system noted that the utility may undertake a certified gas pilot to purchase responsibly sourced gas for ConEd’s gas system that supplies both its cogeneration and steam plants.

Steam-electric cogeneration, using heat sourced from electric power-generating facilities that would otherwise be wasted, accounts for about 60% of the steam ConEd produces. 

As the city fulfills its transition away from natural gas in its large building systems by 2040, building electrification for heat and hot water is likely to become essential, a move ConEd said it supports. 

ConEd noted that clean steam can help customers avoid costly retrofits to their buildings in the electrification process. 

“Utilizing our decarbonized district energy system will help these buildings achieve their goals without having to make costly internal changes,” said a ConEd spokesperson. 

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