Accelerate Now! The Fossil Fuel End Game 2.0

January 10, 2024

Clean Energy Group, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, THE POINT CDC, UPROSE | The PEAK Coalition

New York City has the densest concentration of urban power plants in the US, impacting the health of 750,000 New Yorkers, and producing some of the country’s most expensive electricity.

The PEAK Coalition—UPROSE, THE POINT CDC, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA), New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), and Clean Energy Group (CEG)—aims to end long-standing pollution from fossil fuel peaker power plants and the negative effects on New York City’s most climate-vulnerable people.

In this report, the PEAK Coalition documents progress made since the coalition was founded and examines the steps taken by state, city, utility, and energy industry stakeholders to hasten or delay the shift from polluting power plants to clean, zero-emissions alternatives. The report details evidence of encouraging progress, with 700 MW of the city’s peaking capacity fully retired and announced plans for the retirement of an additional 3,300 MW before 2040, representing nearly two-thirds of the city’s fossil peaking capacity. However, the transition has not progressed at the pace needed to protect the health of environmental justice communities and meet the state’s climate goals. More than 75 percent of the city’s fossil peaker capacity may remain online and operating beyond 2025, when stricter peaker emissions limits are intended to take full effect.

The report discusses the negative impacts these power plants are having on surrounding communities, highlights challenges and barriers impeding the speed of the transition, and recommends pathways forward to accelerate the transition from peaker plants to clean alternatives.