Con Edison challenges repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Con Edison, as part of a coalition of public and private electric utility companies, has filed a petition in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Affordable Clean Energy Rule and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

Con Edison has taken this action because it believes that the EPA’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan is the wrong approach to combating climate change, and will undermine the company’s own efforts to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including:

“- Significant investments in renewable energy; the promotion of utility-owned renewable generation
“- Offshore wind initiatives
“- Infrastructure and incentives to support electric vehicle adoption
“- Clean heating alternatives
“- Innovative battery storage and energy efficiency programs
“- Renewable gas
“- Natural gas efficiency programs and methane emission reductions
“- Customer-friendly policies for residential solar generation

Since 2013, solar adoption by Con Edison customers has increased exponentially. About 28,000 Con Edison and 8,000 Orange & Rockland (O&R) customers generate more than 375 MW of electricity with more than 250 MW of solar generation in the queue.

Through its Clean Energy Businesses, Con Edison, Inc. is the second largest solar provider in North America, with 2,600 MW of renewable (solar and wind) assets in 17 states. Con Edison’s assets avoid 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. To achieve additional savings in New York, Con Edison is seeking permission to develop, own, and operate renewable energy projects for customers.

The transition to clean heating alternatives will put more demand on the electrical grid in the winter months, and Con Edison and O&R are working to expand their electric distribution systems to support that demand.

In a statement that accompanied the Sept. 6 filing, the Power Companies Climate Coalition, citing higher costs to both customers and industry, argued the new rule prohibits the power sector from using the more effective emission reduction measures, such as emissions trading, that it has historically used.

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