National Grid Prepared For Possibility Of More Frequent, Severe Storms In New York State

Infrastructure Investment Continues to Reduce Outages, Strengthen Electrical System.

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Long Island, NY - August 13th, 2014 - When upstate New York was devastated by damaging thunderstorms and five confirmed tornadoes in July it was a reminder of the increased frequency and severity of storms the region has seen in recent years. National Grid has responded quickly to those storms and has been preparing for the possibility of increased storm activity for several years by investing billions of dollars into the upstate New York electricity system to improve reliability and resiliency.

In recent years National Grid has seen a trend of more frequent and severe storms in upstate New York. In response, the company has committed more than $3 billion in infrastructure investment in its upstate New York electrical system over a ten-year period through 2016. This investment in its upstate New York electricity transmission and distribution system will help upgrade its network and allow the company to continue to provide safe, reliable power to more than 1.6 million customers in the state.

In Central New York, National Grid recently completed construction of a new substation located on Wetzel Road in Liverpool, NY. Upgrades began at the end of 2013 and involved rebuilding, or in some cases, building approximately 13,100 circuit feet to tie in the substation to its distribution system.

National Grid’s $16 million investment in the project will support load growth in Onondaga County and load relief of existing substations in the area and improve reliability for over 8,000 customers in the Town of Clay and Village of North Syracuse, as part of the company’s commitment to infrastructure improvements in upstate New York.

These improvements will provide National Grid customers with long term access to over 35 MWs of demand capacity and long term reliability that will bolster economic development benefits to the region and support area communities and municipalities.

“Extreme weather is on the rise and we have committed to a long-term investment strategy that has improved the reliability and resilience of our electricity delivery system,” said Kenneth Daly, National Grid’s New York president. “We see the benefits of that investment in day-to-day events as well as in how quickly we were able to restore power after the July tornadoes.” He added that modernizing the grid also is a key priority of National Grid’s Connect21 strategy and aligns with New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. Both initiatives are designed to help increase use of alternative energy resources and promote expanded energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation, and energy storage programs.

Since 2007, National Grid has met or exceeded the New York Public Service Commission’s targets for frequency and duration of outages. Last year the average National Grid upstate New York customer experienced less than one outage. The average outage duration was just under two hours.

Electricity system investment has ranged from work on transmission lines, the large tower structures that move bulk power to various communities, to smaller projects within individual communities. Since 2007, National Grid has:

  • Refurbished and upgraded more than 20 electricity substations in upstate New York
  • Replaced more than 116,000 utility poles resulting in improved safety and infrastructure stability near homes and businesses
  • Installed more than 4,000 miles of new electric wire to improve service
  • Installed more than 1,000 electronic ‘reclosures’ that function like large fuses with microprocessor-based controls that automatically isolate failed sections of the system to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage
  • Mounted approximately 48,000 new transformers that facilitate delivery of electricity to homes and businesses
  • Installed thousands of animal guards that are used to discourage animals from making contact with electrical equipment, a significant cause of outages

“This work improves reliability, and helps attract new upstate New York businesses that are looking for strong infrastructure to help ensure their success,” Daly said. “These are investments that will pay huge dividends for years to come.”

About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.

In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.