PSEG Long Island is embarking on a federally funded, three-year reliability and resiliency project to further strengthen the electric grid across Long Island and in the Rockaways. The more than $729 million of federal recovery funds were secured for the Long Island Power Authority via an agreement last year between Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the FEMA 406 Mitigation Program.
“We are committed to making our transmission and distribution system more resilient, able to better withstand extreme weather events,” said David Daly, PSEG Long Island president and chief operating officer. “Superstorm Sandy has had a lasting impact on our customers, and the recovery and healing is still ongoing. The funding provided to the Long Island Power Authority by FEMA allows us to implement significant grid reinforcements that will make the system more resilient to future storms.”
The impact that Superstorm Sandy and the Nor’easter that followed had on the transmission and distribution system was severe, resulting in power outages to all of the service territory’s 1.1 million customers. The entire service territory was declared a federal major disaster area. Power was lost as a result of damaged switching and substations, damaged poles and electrical equipment, and downed trees that brought down wires.
“The projects announced today are just the beginning,” said John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “We aim to upgrade or replace more than 1,000 miles of mainline circuit facilities, elevate and protect flood-prone substations and install innovative automation that isolates faults, all of which will allow us to limit the number of customers impacted by an outage and significantly speed-up their restoration if power is lost.”
Beginning April 6, PSEG Long Island customers will see resiliency and reliability project crews kick-off their efforts in the Town of Huntington and Town of Southold. FEMA approves all of the proposals before construction begins and audits the program costs throughout the process. PSEG Long Island or PSEG Long Island-licensed and approved contractors will perform the work.
“I am pleased the FEMA funding is providing the Long Island Power Authority the necessary capital for PSEG Long Island to strengthen the electric grid without putting additional financial burden on its customers,” said Jon Kaiman, Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo for Storm Recovery and Chairman, Nassau Interim Finance Authority. “After Sandy, we know firsthand how important it is to invest in the infrastructure to fortify it to withstand extreme conditions.”