power plants

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Late last year, the Cuomo administration laid out its agenda to address New York’s future energy requirements. All this week, reporters from the Innovation Trail are putting different parts of that complex energy puzzle under the microscope.

In this first report, Matt Richmond examines the goals of that plan, known as the Energy Highway Blueprint.

It’s easy to miss this red-brick building. It’s on a residential street outside of Albany. There’s no sign telling drivers that the flow of all the electricity in New York State is being controlled inside.

The organization at the controls is the New York Independent System Operators or NYISO. They’re a non-profit created after New York’s energy markets were opened up in the ‘90s.

Giant Ginkgo / via Flickr

Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said one of his top priorities is to create an “energy highway” for New York State’s aging power grid.

So what exactly does that mean?

No one is quite sure yet.

We're drilling for gas, planning pipes from Canadian tar sands, and pumping millions of dollars into green energy projects.  

But the energy mix that we'll end up with in New York State is still a work in progress. What do we want to see powering our toasters and laptops in the years to come?

We've posed those questions to a panel of experts, to find out what's being built, how the marketplace might shake out, and what the social and political ramifications are of how we produce and consume power.

Zack Seward / WXXI

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity rolled out the results of their latest investigation today. The series - called Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities - examines some of the 17,000+ facilities that emit hazardous chemicals into the air.

While the report singles out Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Indiana for having some of the most egregious offenders, the legacy of manufacturing has definitely left its mark on upstate New York.

Below are maps of our upstate cities - and the polluting facilities the EPA is keeping an eye on.