National Grid: Storm’s devastation highlights need for infrastructure investment

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy has underscored the need for investment in infrastructure, National Grid USA President Tom King said on Nov. 27.

King said, “In Sandy’s wake, the volume has been turned up quite a bit on the dialogue and the debate on infrastructure and modernizing this nation’s electric and gas systems.”

The company, he said, has been an active participant in that discussion, advocating for policies and supporting projects that will help create tomorrow’s infrastructure, “one that will deliver a diverse mix of resources including clean renewable resources and one that has the ability to withstand and continue to operate in a resilient manner.”

That is why investing in Clean Line Energy Partners makes “a great deal of sense to us,” he said.

National Grid and Clean Line said on Nov. 27 that National Grid will make a $40m equity investment in Clean Line, which will use the proceeds to advance the development of its four high voltage direct current transmission projects that will connect wind energy resources to communities and cities with demand for low-cost, clean power.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 29 as a post-tropical cyclone.

National Grid continues to help customers affected by Hurricane Sandy, King said.

The company is launching a $30m aid program specifically to assist its hardest hit gas customers rebuild and reconnect to the gas network.

Sandy, King said, “by far was the largest, most destructive storm we’ve ever experienced and it will take years for some of these communities to recover.”

Sandy had a direct impact on the infrastructure but also on people’s lives, he said, noting numerous deaths caused by the storm.

“National Grid continues to work around the clock to help its customers in New York rebuild their lives, as well as rebuild their communities,” he said. “We will be with them every step of the way in that rebuilding process.”

National Grid said on Nov. 21 that thousands of its gas customers and communities on Long Island and Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Rockaways in New York have experienced unprecedented devastation as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter that struck a week later.

“As the holidays rapidly approach, and as the massive effort to recover continues, the company is launching a $30m aid program specifically to assist its hardest hit gas customers rebuild and reconnect to the gas network,” National Grid said.

The company’s “Hurricane Sandy Emergency Economic and Community Redevelopment Program” is designed to provide assistance to communities and customers who need it now. National Grid also said that the three-tier program is designed to complement funding allocated to communities and businesses through federal and state/city programs, insurance or other emergency sources.

The company will file the program with New York state regulators shortly, and will work with HeartShare Human Services of New York to bring the program benefits to the affected communities. HeartShare is a nonprofit human services agency dedicated to improving the lives of people in need of special services and support, the company added.

National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3063 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.