Six N.Y. Power Authority Employees Receive National Industry Recognition Awards for Technology Achievements

Tom Rooney
(914) 390-8178

February 27, 2012


Photo of John Delise and Paul Tartaglia
Photo of Lewis Payne and Jeff Geller

WHITE PLAINS—Six New York Power Authority (NYPA) employees have been named recipients of three Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Technology Transfer awards for 2011.  The national awards recognize individuals who, along with EPRI technical experts, have led successful technology-transfer efforts on behalf of their organization and the electric power industry. The NYPA awardees were recognized for contributions involving electric power generation, power delivery and utilization, and the environment.

--John DeLise of White Plains, N.Y., senior performance engineer at NYPA’s White Plains Office (WPO), Paul Tartaglia of Yorktown, N.Y., regional manager, Southeastern New York, at NYPA’s Charles Poletti Power Project site in Astoria, Queens, and Tom Tyrrell of the Bronx, N.Y., temporary operations/maintenance resource management superintendent (now retired), at the Poletti project site, shared in EPRI’s Generation Sector Award.  The three were recognized for their deployment of combustion system monitoring equipment (known throughout the electric power industry as Combustion Dynamics Monitoring) capable of detecting irregular “acoustic signatures” that are representative of hardware damage.  This information is read by a computational algorithm, which evaluates the history of the irregular acoustic signature for determining if the combustion turbine should be removed from service for inspection.  The monitoring system, commissioned in January 2011 at NYPA’s 500-megawatt combined-cycle power plant at the Poletti site, identified hardware damage, which was verified when the combustion turbine was removed and inspected.  Identifying damage in this early stage may have prevented equipment failure.

--George Stranovsky of Summit, N.J.,  supervisor, advanced monitoring and diagnostics (now retired), WPO, received EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization Award.  He worked with NYPA transmission staff and other industry specialists in developing strategies to identify locations of degradation and corrosion of weathering steel, which, if not remedied, could lead to damage to transmission towers and other structures. NYPA and a number of other utilities have since adopted engineering and maintenance practices reflecting these research findings.

--Lewis Payne of Remsen, N.Y., right-of-way/environmental supervisor, Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, in Marcy, and Jeffrey Geller of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., environmental scientist, WPO, were awarded EPRI’s Environmental Award.  This resulted from their use of an EPRI workshop to develop a best management practices plan for controlling the spread of invasive plant species along NYPA’s 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines as part of efforts to manage vegetation and prevent plant species from compromising the reliability of those lines, in various parts of the state.  Best-practice procedures may include cleaning of clothing, gear and equipment, proper disposal of soil and seeds, education and site restoration. NYPA has since led an effort to reinforce similar procedures along all utility transmission rights-of-way.

“The Power Authority is committed to being at the forefront of energy-technology development for enhancing the reliability, efficiency and performance of New York State’s electric power system,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer.  “Governor Cuomo has given this the highest importance.  We are quite proud of the NYPA employees honored by EPRI for their technology-transfer accomplishments, and commend each of them for setting examples of creative excellence at work in challenging and demanding environments.  They are a testament to the top caliber of the Power Authority’s workforce.”

Quiniones has been an EPRI board member since 2009, representing the public power sector.

“The technology-transfer awards by EPRI are welcome recognition of the New York Power Authority’s commitment to actively pursue and develop new tools and technologies to enhance the reliability, availability and efficiency of its generation and transmission assets,” said Bruce Fardanesh, Ph.D, chief technology officer, NYPA. “It is extremely gratifying to have our talented engineers, scientists and other professionals honored for their innovative solutions to the challenges of the electric power industry.”

 “EPRI technology transfer awards include an array of technologies and applications, said Michael W. Howard, EPRI president and chief executive officer.  “They reflect our active engagement in advancing technology innovation for use by utilities to enhance the generation, delivery and end-use of electricity. We applaud the NYPA’s award winners.”

Utility participation in EPRI research promotes greater exposure to emerging technologies. The collaborative research model, where research funds from several companies are pooled for maximum impact, benefits both the industry and its customers. 

EPRI presented the 2011 technology-transfer awards to the NYPA recipients and other utility honorees at ceremonies held on Feb. 14 and Feb. 21. 

About EPRI:

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public.  And independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment.  EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries.  EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.■It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information,

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