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Fortifying the Future in Westchester
Con Edison Using Smart Grid Technology, Tougher Equipment To Reduce Outages & Speed Restorations

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2013
11:00 a.m.

NEW YORK - Con Edison today outlined steps the company is taking in Westchester County to minimize power disruptions and expedite service restorations after major storms.

Standing alongside a remote-controlled “smart switch” in the village of Larchmont, company officials said Con Edison plans to invest $1 billion in storm protection measures over the next four years in New York City and Westchester County. Approximately $476 million would be spent on the company’s electric distribution system -- $130 million in Westchester alone.

To download a PDF detailing Con Edison’s storm and summer investments, click here: www.coned.com/summer. Also check out this helpful video showing how the company works to restore customer service after a storm: http://www.coned.com/stormvideo

The investments would include design and equipment improvements to help minimize storm damage, with the goal of reducing the number and duration of electrical outages.

Superstorm Sandy caused more than 1 million customer power outages in Con Edison’s service area, including more than 320,000 in Westchester County.

“Sandy was the worst storm ever to hit our region, but was only the latest in a series of violent weather events causing incredible damage to our energy delivery systems,” said Con Edison Chairman and CEO Kevin Burke. “We are making critical investments in the county that will help to better protect our customers from these harsh weather systems.”

As part of the storm protection plan, Con Edison has proposed investing $200 million to place approximately 30 miles of overhead power lines underground, about half in Westchester. The company will work with municipalities to identify electrical equipment serving emergency and healthcare facilities, community and cooling centers, and shopping malls with large supermarkets.

Burke also said Con Edison is working closely with the county executive and municipal officials to provide more detailed restoration plans after major storms.

Major elements of Con Edison’s storm improvement plans for Westchester include:

  • Installing hundreds of “smart switches” to isolate damaged equipment to help reduce the number of homes that lose power when a tree knocks down a power cable. Thirty-five switches have been installed, with plans for an additional 200 installations in the coming months.
  • Installing 4,000 feet of stronger, tree-branch resistant aerial cable.
  • Installing utility poles in storm-prone areas that are 15 percent stronger and able to withstand wind gusts of up to 110 mph.
  • Deploying thousands of overhead isolation devices to reduce customer outages and facilitate faster restoration.
  • Implementing a pilot program using special connectors, allowing customer service wires from the street to the home to detach easily, avoiding damage to utility poles or to the customer’s home.
  • Creating software for rapid damage assessment information on electronic tablets or hand-held devices.

Ready for Summer

In addition to the storm improvements, Con Edison is investing $1.2 billion this year overall to upgrade its electric delivery system and enhance reliability for hot summer months.

The electric peak demand forecast for this summer in Con Edison’s service area is 13,200 megawatts (MW), with a projected peak of 11,485 MW for New York City and 1,715 MW for Westchester County. The record peak – 13,189 MW – was set on July 22, 2011 at 4 p.m.

Systemwide improvements underway include installation of 31 network transformers, six new feeders, 207 overhead transformers, and reinforcement of 46 feeders, 100 underground sections and 250 overhead spans. Upgrades to two unit substations also are in progress.


Fortifying the Future in New York City
Con Edison Using Smart Grid Technology, Tougher Equipment To Reduce Outages & Speed Restorations

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.

"Sandy caused incredible damage to our energy delivery systems, disrupting the lives of millions of New Yorkers," said Con Edison Chairman and CEO Kevin Burke. "While we recognize that these weather events represent a 'new normal,' our goal through our investments is to lessen the hardships that violent weather causes for our customers."

Con Edison said it would pursue burying approximately 30 miles of overhead power lines in New York City and Westchester County in 2015 and 2016, at a cost of approximately $200 million. Undergrounding all 35,000 miles of the company’s overhead systems would cost approximately $60 billion.

Major elements of Con Edison’s storm improvement plans include:

  • Building concrete flood barriers around critical equipment and higher perimeter walls around substations.
  • Installing flood gates at tunnel openings.
  • Installing additional submersible electrical equipment in flood-prone areas of the electric distribution system.
  • Redesigning two underground electrical networks in lower Manhattan and one serving coastal communities in Brooklyn. The new smart grid designs will allow the company to pre-emptively de-energize customers in flood-prone areas, restore power faster when floodwaters recede, while keeping customers in the surrounding areas with power.
  • Installing hundreds of remote “smart” switches to isolate damaged equipment to help reduce the number of homes that lose power when a tree knocks down a power cable; and installing stronger, tree-branch resistant aerial cable.
  • Installing utility poles in storm-prone areas that are 15 percent stronger and able to withstand wind gusts of up to 110 mph.
  • Deploying thousands of overhead isolation devices to reduce customer outages and facilitate faster restoration.
  • Installing additional high-powered flood pumps in advance of storms.
  • Deploying water-resistant sealant in conduits containing electrical circuits.
  • Installing special float-check valves to protect gas services from floods.
  • Replacing cast iron and steel gas pipes in flood prone areas.
  • Strengthening communications for gas control and monitoring systems.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status at www.conEd.com/reportoutage or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633)When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power. Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available. Customers can also follow @ConEdison or like us on Facebook at Con Edison for general outage updates, safety tips and storm preparation information.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $42 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit us on the Web at www.conEd.com, at our green site, www.coned.com/thepowerofgreen, or find us on Facebook at Power of Green.


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