New John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone Honors New York State's Role in Development of Electricity and Today's Focus on a Clean Energy Economy
Admission-Free Facility to Serve as Year-Round Tourist Destination,
Offer STEM Education to Area Youth
See Photos Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a new 15,000-square-foot New York State museum of energy in Utica. Located next to the Utica Zoo, the newly constructed admission-free John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, designed and financed by the New York Power Authority, is expected to open to the public May 10. The facility was dedicated today rounding out a number of events statewide this week recognizing Earth Day 2021.
"New York has an incredible story to tell about its role in the development of electricity, dating back to when Thomas Edison first lit up Manhattan in 1882, and now we have a stunning new facility in the heart of our state to highlight this storied history to residents and visitors alike," Governor Cuomo said. "The John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone in Utica could not have come at a more exciting time as the energy industry continues to evolve before our eyes. Every day we are moving toward a clean energy economy, and this new facility will inspire future leaders in this booming industry to help us address our clean energy challenges and meet the goals we've set as part of our ambitious climate agenda."
"I visit the Power Authority's Niagara Power Vista in Lewiston every chance I get and now I am thrilled that I'll be able to learn even more about the New York energy story at the New York Energy Zone in Utica," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "NYPA's first-class visitors centers attract visitors from around the world. This energy museum will help boost the local economy as more tourists visit the area. Educators from around the state and beyond will appreciate what the museum has to offer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programming, and we will all benefit by inspiring new leaders in these fields as we transform our energy system to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040."
The facility features unique exhibits that simulate flying a drone to check on power transmission lines, controlling electricity on an energy grid, operating a power plant, and building a micro power grid along with many other interactive activities designed to teach visitors about the past, present and future of energy in New York State.
Exhibits throughout the museum reflect input and information from New York's major private utilities; NYPA's sister agency, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) as well as industry trade groups. Each entity shares its role in the energy and electricity story of New York State that is highlighted throughout the Energy Zone.
Named after former NYPA Chairman John S. Dyson, the new facility is affiliated with NYPA's Frederick R. Clark Energy Center — the hub of its statewide power transmission control center located in Marcy. The two-story facility features a 3D feature film about Nikola Tesla directed by Douglas Trumbull, known for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Blade Runner (1982). The film showcases the contributions of Tesla and other famous inventors from the past, returning Tesla to the present to introduce him to the amazing electrical achievements and opportunities of today that have been made possible by his work.
The facility also is home to a STEM Lab — a space dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and focused on student learning. The STEM Lab's programming will be developed in partnership with local educational entities with an expertise in STEM and will host hands-on educational experiences and special events.
Anthony J. Picente Jr., NYPA trustee and Oneida County Executive, said, "Utica is a natural location for this museum of energy because it complements the work of our Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, NYPA's system-wide energy transmission complex in Marcy. I am grateful to my colleagues at the Power Authority for their vision in conceiving and developing this magnificent facility in Oneida County that will inspire our next generation of energy leaders and benefit all New Yorkers for decades to come."
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO, said, "The Utica area is home to many of NYPA's dedicated and talented employees and today we recognize them and invite them to share this crown jewel of energy and electricity education and interactive, hands-on exhibits with their friends and families. I'm honored to dedicate this building in honor of John S. Dyson, a distinguished former chairman and trustee of the Power Authority. This New York Energy Zone is the embodiment of John's legacy of public service and his record of improvements to New York's energy system. We, at NYPA, hope that people of all ages will visit the Energy Zone to learn the fascinating history of power in New York State and will look with promise toward the future as we continue to move toward a clean energy economy."
All visits to the new John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone will follow New York Forward COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information or to schedule a time to visit after May 10, please visit NYPA's New York Energy Zone webpage.
New York State Senator and Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chair, Kenneth Parker, said, "Congratulations to all those involved in developing this magnificent facility devoted to energy -- a subject near and dear to my heart. As the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chair, I am very pleased to welcome this exciting new museum -- featuring New York's prominent role in the development of electricity -- into the ranks of New York's great attractions."
New York State Assemblyman and Assembly Energy Committee Chair Michael Cusick said, "As Earth Week winds down, I am pleased to welcome the John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone into the ranks of our great tourist attractions. Dedicated to the past, present and future of energy, this new 'Museum of Energy' is destined to play an important role in helping New York to meet the great environmental and energy challenges of our day."
New York State Senator Joseph Griffo said, "I am pleased that the new John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone is complete and thank NYPA and all the partners who worked to bring this project to fruition. This facility will highlight the past, present, and future of energy in New York and the important role that our region plays in its delivery across the state. It also will ensure that NYPA has a major presence in all of the state's prominent energy producing and transportation centers, which I had requested and advocated for."
New York Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon said, "Congratulations to the New York Power Authority for bringing this great facility to life. The John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone promises to breathe new economic life into New York State's COVID recovery tourism economy, while educating and inspiring a new generation of energy leaders to help build New York's energy grid of the future."
New York Assemblyman Brian Miller said, ""I think that the New York State Museum of Energy in Utica will be a great addition to the many tourist attractions New York has to offer. This museum will be devoted to the past, present and future of energy and who better to develop it then the New York Power Authority. It is important for us to provide information such as what will be in this museum so that the youth of our communities can learn more about where we have come from and what they can do to improve life in the future. I look forward to the grand opening next month."
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said, "Due to hard work and coordination with many partners, I am excited to welcome the New York State museum of energy to Utica, which is now formally dedicated as the John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone. This facility will be a tremendous asset for our community as it will educate and inspire our residents and serve as a destination for visitors from across the state and country. I thank NYPA for their continued investment and support."
The NYPA Board of Trustees approved a NYPA management and board naming committee's recommendation to name the facility after former NYPA Chairman, Vice Chairman and Trustee John S. Dyson on May 21, 2019. NYPA's Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center in Massena was named after current NYPA Vice Chairman Nicandri, at a May 2017 opening ceremony. NYPA's 500 MW combined cycle power plant in Astoria was formally named the Eugene W. Zeltmann Power Project in December 2018. Zeltmann, who led the Power Authority in executive roles from September 1997 through January 2006, passed away in February 2018.
NYPA has three other admission-free visitors centers near its major hydropower projects. The centers, which feature exhibits that demonstrate the production of electricity, also educate the public about clean energy and host community events. NYPA's Niagara Power Vista, minutes from Niagara Falls; its Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center in the Catskills; and its Frank S. McCullough, Jr., Visitors Center and Boat Launch at Hawkins Point on the St. Lawrence River offer outdoor recreation opportunities on the grounds and nearby. For more information about COVID-19 prevention protocols and opening plans, visit NYPA's Visitors Centers webpage.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.
About John S. Dyson
John S. Dyson served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Power Authority from 1979 to 1985. He returned to the board as a Trustee and Vice Chairman from 2011 to 2012. Hallmarks of his leadership at NYPA include a legacy of strengthening the state's power transmission system, energy conservation, and programs to promote energy efficiency and economic development, including initiatives allocating lower cost electricity to businesses in return for job commitments. As the state's Commerce Commissioner in the late 1970s, he established the "I Love New York" program. A longtime New Yorker, Dyson grew up in Westchester and Dutchess counties and graduated from Cornell University. He lives in Millbrook, Dutchess County.