LIPA: Thinking Smart


Published For The Corridor

Energy and The Environment

As President and CEO of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) I pride myself on our commitment to providing 1.1 million customers with reliable, safe and efficient electricity. Under my leadership in 2008, LIPA outperformed all other New York State overhead electric utilities for frequency of service interruptions, and ranked second for duration of service interruptions.

Part of the reason for LIPA’s reliability success is the capital investment LIPA has made in the electric system and the early smart grid technology LIPA has been deploying. The Long Island distribution system is one of the most highly automated systems in the United States.

In August of this year, we applied for funding for a Smart Energy Corridor Project, which was announced by Governor Paterson and Congressman Steve Israel. In November, LIPA received an award of $12.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the project. Congressman Steve Israel served as a major supporter and worked closely with the Governor and LIPA to secure funding for the Smart Energy Corridor.

I am pleased to have received federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars for this key initiative. The funding will lessen the burden on LIPA ratepayers while enabling us to continue our commitment to building a Smart Grid, which encompasses ongoing LIPA projects, including smart metering, increased system automation, a possible offshore wind project, a 50MW solar program and LIPA-incentivized programs for customer owned renewable technologies such as solar, wind and geothermal. LIPA has been a leader in developing key standards that are necessary for Smart Grid interoperability.

Our Smart Grid project will help create a better and brighter economy, putting New Yorkers to work in clean energy jobs while reducing energy consumption and energy costs on Long Island. President Obama, Secretary Chu, Governor Paterson and Congressman Israel as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and our entire congressional delegation should be applauded for assisting LIPA in securing the federal dollars needed to implement a Smart Energy Kevin Law, President and CEO of Long Island Power Authority Corridor project.

I believe Smart-Energy technology is an important next step in modernizing Long Island’s electric grid and is consistent with Governor David A. Paterson’s “45 by 15” program, which establishes the goal for the State to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy 27 efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015. It also falls in line with my commitment to bringing more energy efficiency and renewables to our customers.

The Smart Energy Corridor runs along Route 110 from Rte 109 in Babylon to the Long Island Expressway in Huntington, Long Island’s “Main Street.” It is a collaboration of LIPA, Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College to create the first integrated Smart Grid on Long Island. The project would integrate a suite of smart grid technologies; smart meters, distribution automation, distributed energy resources and electric vehicle charging stations. The project will also include testing of cyber security systems, identifying the optimal combination of features to encourage consumer participation and educating the public about the tools and techniques available with the Smart Grid.

In March, 2009, Governor Paterson, Congressman Israel and I launched a Smart Metering Program. LIPA allocated $3 million for smart meter technology in the 2009 capital budget and $5 million in 2010, while Congressman Israel secured an additional $713,000 in federal funding to expand the pilot program. Smart Meters are the next generation of electric meters that will allow energy consumers to monitor and reduce energy usage, increase reliability and encourage energy efficiency by facilitating smarter end-user technologies.

The technological advances made possible through installation of Smart Grid technologies will help us at LIPA initiate or enhance more advanced programs, including Smart Grid distribution operations and providing time-differentiated price signals direct to customers. As we install smart meters for commercial and residential customers in the smart metering pilot project we will begin to receive the newest information on how smart metering technology will benefit our customers. We will test a number of functions: the ability to collect meter information using the new technology; the ability to share meter information with the customer in near real time; the ability to provide pricing signals to customers; the ability to detect system conditions, including load and usage along the system; the ability to remotely send control signals to equipment situated along the distribution system and the feasibility of various communications schemes and technologies.

The Smart Energy Corridor and the Smart metering project will assist residential, commercial and industrial LIPA customers in monitoring and reducing energy usage and costs, increase electric reliability, encourage energy efficiency and create clean energy jobs. The creation of clean energy jobs will bolster the Long Island’s workforce.

In addition to creating clean energy jobs, the goal of the “Smart Energy Corridor” is to provide valuable experience in moving Long Island’s energy infrastructure to a level that will accommodate 21st Century energy technology. As a Long Islander, my focus is to continue to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy while providing safe and reliable electric service. This will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and provide a clean environment, today and in the future.

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