New York Gov. Cuomo’s grid improvement initiative to release $10m in smart grid funding

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to modernize the state’s energy infrastructure continues to progress with its initiatives.

As part of his Energy Highway Blueprint, Cuomo on June 7 announced $10m to promote smart grid technologies that will allow New York’s electric grid to better accommodate diverse generation resources.

The blueprint, introduced in Cuomo’s State of the State address, calls for 3,200 MW in new transmission and generation and includes plans to invest $1bn for 1,000 MW of new electric transmission capacity. The $10m in smart grid technology funding is part of $250m that the plan has allocated for smart grid technologies.

“This funding will support innovative projects to implement our Energy Highway Blueprint and make New York’s electric grid one of the most advanced in the nation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Modernizing the electric grid will not only help us meet current challenges in demand, efficiency, and costs to customers, but will also set New York up as a leader in smart energy practices for years to come.”

The announcement followed on legislation released May 13, under which Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) will effectively take over the Long Island Power Authority’s responsibilities. The governor’s legislation would allow the state to both “privatize operations and maintenance” of the utility system while placing the Long Island utility under state oversight. The legislation resulted, in part, from recommendations made in January by the Moreland Commission, which Cuomo established by executive order on Nov. 13, 2012, to investigate the response, preparation and management of the state’s power utility companies with major storms over the past two years, including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

On May 21, the New York Power Authority’s board of directors, under the umbrella of the Energy Highway Blueprint, authorized $31m to refurbish transmission system equipment.

The $10m for smart grid technologies will be administered through a competitive process under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Smart Grid Program, according to the statement. To date, NYSERDA’s smart grid program has issued $24m in awards for research, product development and demonstration projects, matched by $31m in private sector funding and $120m in federal funding.

Other initiatives under the blueprint include field studies of Atlantic Ocean offshore wind development potential; $250m in new renewable energy projects, leveraging $425m in private investment and creating 270 MW of new power; modernizing and repowering existing inefficient, high-emission plants to create 750 MW of power, enabled by about $1.5bn investment; and generating 1,200 MW of additional capacity through an approximate $1bn investment to help meet reliability needs to address retiring power plants across the state.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.