Ready for the next Sandy? ConEd spending a cool billion to prepare

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: With the 2013 hurricane season expected to be "active or extremely active," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Con Edison is rushing to get ready. The New York utility announced it will spend at least $1.2 billion over the next four years. And that it has already spent $400 million on a variety of steps to harden its system. Customer bills will increase by about $3 per month to pay for the upgrades, ConEd estimates.

 

Other Sandy-ravaged utilities are hard at work as well, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Atlantic City Electric is spending $800 million on upgrades (and asking for a rate hike of $13 per customer per month). Jersey Central Power and Light may put some substations underground. Meanwhile, the Long Island Power Authority has the opposite idea -- it intends to elevate substations. (Let's hope LIPA is also updating its outage management and outage notification systems, since it received heavy criticism for poor communications with customers.)

 

Has your utility updated and improved its reliability and resiliency? If not, better pray that you'll never be hit by a disaster or major outage or you will become a target of politicians and regulators, most of whom see Sandy as a warning the whole country should heed. - Jesse Berst

 

Con Edison flood-proofing substations, using smart grid technology, installing stronger equipment to reduce storm outages & speed restoration; $1.2 billion investments for summer reliability

 

Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2013
Noon

 

NEW YORK - Con Edison said today it has made major investments to protect its underground and overhead energy delivery systems from major storms, measures that will help limit power outages and speed service restoration to customers (To download a PDF with information, click here: www.coned.com/summer).

 

Company officials, showcasing new equipment, higher perimeter walls and other storm protections at its 14th Street East River complex in Manhattan, outlined plans to invest $1 billion on storm protection measures over the next four years in New York City and in Westchester County.

 

The utility said the investments include more than $475 million on its electric distribution system. The design and equipment improvements will help limit damage from major storms, and reduce the number and duration of customer outages.

 

Superstorm Sandy caused more than one million power outages, affecting approximately one-third of the utility’s customers late last year.