Natural Power - A New Book about New York's Path to Clean Energy

The Story of the New York Power Authority, its History and Mission
By: Cosimo, Inc.
NEW YORK - Jan. 30, 2017 - PRLog -- While new developments in renewable energy technologies are being announced almost daily and climate change continues to be a hot topic with a new president in the White House, it is worth having a look at New York's illustrious history with energy: the first central power plant in the U.S. was built in Manhattan in 1882; the first transmission of electricity occurred between Niagara Falls and Buffalo in 1885 and the first public power organization, the New York Power Authority ("NYPA"), was founded in New York state in 1931.

In a newly released book, Natural Power: The New York Power Authority's Origins and Path to Clean Energy (Cosimo Books, New York, Jan. 2017) by historian Rock Brynner with a foreword by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the story is told of NYPA's history, mission, and values. Natural Power describes how electricity went from a luxury to a necessity for Americans thanks to the role played by historical figures, inventors such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse, the investor J. P. Morgan and political leaders such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

The NYPA played an essential role in establishing public power over the private sector and greatly influenced the development of power from natural resources. It created affordable and sustainable alternatives for New Yorkers across the state with the construction of the Niagara Falls and St. Lawrence River power plants, and provided a template for the rest of the country to establish public power services. Today, this essential public service provides almost a quarter of New York State's power, In an era of New York superstorms, such as hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the NYPA dedicates much research and development to clean energy, and consistently leads the vanguard of utilities in sustainability and modernization in the 21st century.

Statements by New York Governors on the New York Power Authority:

"(the objective of the NYPA is) to give back to the people the waterpower which is theirs." – Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1931

"The NYPA is maybe one of our proudest boasts. You almost never hear about the NYPA, but you should. It would do us all a lot of good: you can see the government at its very best."  – Governor Mario Cuomo, in 1991

"At its core, the NYPA narrative tells us how much can be achieved when new thinking and enlightened public policy are combined with technological ingenuity and incredible determination."  - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, from the Foreword to Natural Power.

Natural Power is a fascinating read for readers, historians, environmentalists, journalists, and policymakers interested in the birth of electrification, the founding of the New York Power Authority, its role as a public entity and the importance of clean energy when the threats of climate change are obvious to New Yorkers.


ROCK BRYNNER is a writer and historian who lives in Pawling, New York. He earned an M.A. in Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and a Ph.D. in U.S. History at Columbia University and has taught US history at Marist College and Western Connecticut State University. This is his tenth book. Visit also:


NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY is the country's largest state public power organization, producing some of the cheapest electricity in North America. NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable-fuel technologies.

NATURAL POWER  - The New York Power Authority's Origins and Path to Clean Energy

Foreword by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Cosimo Books, January 2017

Public Affairs, Science

ISBN 978-1944529369

Paperback, 248 pages, $15.99

Also available as eBook.


COSIMO BOOKS publishes titles by experts, academics, journalists, and visionaries on topics including Public Affairs, Socially Responsible Business and Personal Development,. Cosimo Books, based in New York, is an imprint of Cosimo, Inc., a specialty publisher of books and publications that inspire, inform and engage readers. Cosimo's mission is to create a smart and sustainable society by connecting people with valuable ideas.

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