The New York Power Authority was created in the 1930s as a way to harness abundant hydropower resources for the benefit of New York energy consumers. It was an experiment in the early electricity market that influenced other public power agencies in different regions of the U.S.

Today, New York is forging another influential experiment. And NYPA is at the heart of this one, too.

In the last two years, the state has enacted a series of reforms that will completely change the way energy is consumed and delivered. Under the Reforming the Energy Vision plan, New York is expanding its green bank, reforming utility business models, building out a transmission highway, and opening its electricity market to a wider range of participants.

The goal: to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030 and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. The state hopes these efforts will catalyze $5 billion of new investment in clean, distributed energy. It’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck effort. 

An influential public organization like NYPA is vital for helping the state achieve those ambitious targets, said Gil Quiniones, the CEO of NYPA, in an interview.

“The state of New York has this tremendous asset at its disposal. It’s really being used as an entity that can inspire shared vision,” said Quiniones. “We have to set an example.”

NYPA has come a long way since it was first created. Sure, it is still operating massive hydropower plants and an extensive 1,400-mile network of transmission lines. But it is also trying to reinvent itself under REV -- to get closer to customers by offering them customized energy services, and to refine its grid network to accommodate more large-scale renewable power plants.

This week, NYPA launched a crucial piece of its energy services business, called the New York Energy Manager (NYEM). The Albany-based operations center allows the authority to monitor 1,000 public buildings across the state in order to provide energy-efficiency solutions for building managers. Over time, NYEM will scale to 3,000 buildings, implement additional remote controls, and provide a space for software and analytics firms to test new approaches to energy monitoring.

"NYEM is just the latest -- and by no means the last -- innovative development from NYPA that will help transform the industry," said Peter Siggins, Americas region head at PA Consulting group. 

Quiniones calls it a “digital foundry” for the private sector, made possible by a public commitment to efficiency and renewables. 

GTM sat down with Quiniones to learn more about his vision for NYPA’s future.