Con Edison completes $1.5bn grid resilience upgrade for New Yorkers

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US utility Con Edison has announced the completion of a grid resilience project to prepare New York City and Westchester Country network against disruptions that are likely to result from harsh summer weather conditions in 2021.

The utility invested $1.5 billion to modernise its existing infrastructure as well as install new and advanced grid equipment. The project included the installation of new cables, transformers, network protectors, switches and other components that make its electric-delivery system robust.

Some 22 new transformers, 120 overhead transformers, 54 sections of underground cables, 175 spans of overhead wires and 139 poles were installed. Con Edison will continue the programme with the installation of underground cables which are affected less by storms compared to overhead lines.

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Harsh weather conditions experienced in New York often cause disruptions to the power supply leaving thousands and sometimes millions without power hence the need to enhance the robustness of the grid network. In 2019, customers of Con Edison were left in darkness following the devastating effects of hurricane Riley. This year, Con Edison’s 7,000 distribution wires were brought down after tropical storm Isaias hit the utility’s service territory. This resulted in approximately 300,000 customer outages.

In addition to enhancing grid resilience, the upgrade will help the energy company to align its operations with clean energy transition goals set by the New York State government.

Matthew Ketschke, the president of Con Edison, said: “We are making targeted investments based on data and metrics to keep our service reliable while leading the transition to a low-carbon future with cleaner air and water, better health and an economy driven by green jobs.

“We are optimistic about our region’s economic and environmental prospects as we emerge from the enormous challenges the pandemic has posed.”