PSEG Addresses Long Island Utility Concerns
Sep 17, 2013
by EmPower Solar
Today, the Long Island Association (LIA) Energy and Environment committee, co-chaired by Robert Catell and Gene Bernstein, hosted a discussion by Dave Daly, Vice President and LIPATransition Lead at PSEG, about the new electric utility structure commencing January 1st, 2014. Daly addressed many stakeholder concerns and questions and inspired confidence amongst the attendees.
PSEG is a New Jersey-based utility with 2.1 million customers and a large portfolio of power generation assets, including five nuclear plants. According to Daly, it has received numerous “most reliable utility awards” and is known for competent storm response, a major concern on Long Island. PSEG’s forward team has been analyzing LIPA since April of 2012. Its internal “Findings and Recommendations Report (FRR)” recommended 80 actions to improve customer service and a variety of system and procedural upgrades to significantly enhance storm response.
One such upgrade includes an outage management system that will clearly identify which homes are lacking power and individualized reports for each town with a detailed 3-day timeline for fixes. Critically, the 12 year PSEG service contract can be terminated early if it does not receive positive performance reviews following two consecutive storms.
Daly also added that PSEG will spend $30 million, mostly funded with Superstorm Sandy aide, to trim trees to standard, which will hedge against downed power lines in future storms.
PSEG is committed to creating a cleaner and more resilient grid. While Daly commented that the solar rebate programs will mimic LIPA’s in its first year, he said they are developing a proposal called “Grid 2.0” to release in mid-2014 that will address the future of the electric grid on Long Island, and its integration with solar, wind, and other renewable resources.
In response to a question from EmPower Solar CEO David Schieren about leveraging market based forces, such as real-time electricity pricing, to increase solar energy penetration, Daly said that he agreed 100% and that the report would study the option seriously.
The new Long Island electric utility will be branded PSEG-LI. About 150 employees will move to Long Island from NJ, including Daly, but most of the former employees at National Grid will make up the new PSEG-LI workforce. Daly commented that National Grid employees are “skilled, and up to speed.”
“We’re bringing our full force of our name and reputation to Long Island,” Daly said. EmPower has invited Mr. Daly to visit our Island Park headquarters so we can show off the strong south shore recovery. We look forward to seeing you!