Long Island’s electrical grid getting $1.4 billion upgrade

02/24/2014 8:00 AM |

PETER BOODY FILE PHOTO

More than a year after Hurricane Sandy wiped out much of Long Island’s electrical grid,  leaving residents in the dark for days, $1.4 billion in federal aid will help pay for upgrades and repairs to the region’s infrastructure, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week. 

Roughly half the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds — $705 million — will go toward repairing damage to the grid, Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. The remaining $730 million will be used to protect the grid from future storms.

The funding will cover the elevation of damaged substations, automatic sectionalizing of switches across the grid in order to minimize outages and “strategic undergrounding of appropriate power circuits,” Mr. Cuomo said.

“This agreement secures $1.4 billion in federal funding to build a stronger, more resilient electrical system for Long Island ratepayers,” Mr. Cuomo said. “This funding will allow the State to dramatically improve the power grid, including elevating lines and repairing substations without raising rates for Long Island’s residents and businesses.”

About 90 percent of the Long Island Power Authority’s customers were left without power in the wake of the 2012 storm, which caused “significant damage” to the electrical infrastructure, Mr. Cuomo said. Since then, PSEG Long Island has replaced LIPA as the area’s electrical provider.

New York state will be responsible for determining the type of prevention the funds can be used for depending on the location of the repairs.

Of the $1.4 billion in funding, 90 percent will come from FEMA with the remainder drawn from federal Community Development Block Grants.

psquire@timesreview.com

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