LIPA Plan Against Severe Storm Damage
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced that it will undertake a new multi-faceted, $500 million, 20-year program to reduce the amount of damage that can be inflicted upon the electric Transmission and Distribution (T&D) System by severe storms such as hurricanes.
The 17 point program, the first of its kind for LIPA and Long Island's electric grid, is designed to improve the T&D system's durability, resilience and restoration capabilities to help lessen the number of service outages caused by severe storms, and enhance the ability to restore service quicker when severe storm damage occurs. LIPA will spend $25 million per year over the next 20 years on the program.
The Severe Storm Hardening Initiative was developed after months of study and review of the lessons learned from the extraordinary damage caused in the Gulf region by last year's Hurricane Katrina, this summer's power outages in Queens, and an extensive reevaluation of the vulnerabilities of LIPA's system.
"This is an unprecedented undertaking," said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. "Never before has such an extensive study been conducted and such a wide ranging series of comprehensive storm hardening strategies advanced."
LIPA will implement the program immediately. Certain elements of the program will expand upon actions already undertaken by LIPA through the investment of $2 billion over the last eight years that have improved LIPA's T&D system reliability.
"The Severe Storm Hardening Initiative will be in addition to all of the routine capital improvement work we do annually to expand and upgrade our system to reliably meet the ever-increasing demand for electricity," said Kessel. "We spend, on average, about $200 million annually on capital improvements, which is the main reason we have the most reliable overheard electric system in New York State, and one of the most reliable in the nation."