NYPA 75th Anniversary logo

New York Power Auhority logo




Charles Lipsky, NYPA’s Longest-Serving Chief Engineer and a Westchester Resident, Retires from Statewide Public Power Utility After Nearly 4 Decades

Michael Saltzman

July 6, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—Last month marked the retirement from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) of Charles I. Lipsky, its vice president and chief engineer, after a career of nearly 37 years of dedicated service during which the Authority expanded its statewide role for New York’s electric power system as it took on new energy challenges for reliable, clean and economical power for businesses, public facilities and residents throughout the state.

“Charles Lipsky is a standout member of a great generation that contributed mightily to the Power Authority’s success in building and operating significant generating and transmission facilities in various parts of New York State,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “His stellar work has supported numerous Power Authority initiatives essential for the state’s electric power system. Among them they’ve included measures for ensuring the continued efficient operation of our low-cost upstate hydroelectric facilities for many years ahead and the construction of new generating facilities in New York City that play a pivotal role for meeting increased power demand and displacing the output of less efficient and clean power plants.”

On June 27th, the Power Authority trustees passed a resolution expressing their gratitude for Lipsky’s many achievements at NYPA. The resolution noted that his “singular talents and expertise have brought immense benefit to the Authority and the people of New York State.” It added that “Mr. Lipsky’s technical prowess was matched only by his abiding commitment to teaching and learning…and by his manifest concern for the wellbeing and professional growth of the members of his staff.”

A resident of the Town of Corlandt Manor, in Westchester County, Lipsky served as NYPA’s chief engineer for 18 years of his nearly four decades at the Authority. That is longer than anyone has occupied the position in the Power Authority’s more than 75-year history. It is little wonder that those who worked closely with him viewed Lipsky as an engineer’s engineer, the person they went to for the most complex of engineering challenges.

“It’s been a good ride,” said Lipsky, of his long and varied career at NYPA. “It has allowed me to hone my craft, raise my family and contribute to important initiatives for improving New York State’s electric power system. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities extended to me by the Power Authority’s senior management, and for the top-notch professionalism and unstinting support of the Authority’s engineering staff and others with whom I’ve been privileged to work.”

Edward A. Welz, NYPA senior vice president Power Generation, took on the additional title of chief engineer, following Lipsky’s retirement. Richard J. Ardolino, a senior engineer in NYPA’s hydroelectric and transmission group, was named acting vice president of engineering.

A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., Lipsky joined the Power Authority on Nov. 24, 1969, as an electrical engineer at its Niagara Power Project, near Niagara Falls, after working for Niagara Mohawk (now National Grid) for several years in various engineering capacities in the Albany area.

In 1974, he moved to the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project, as superintendent of power, soon after the facility, in the northern Catskills, began operating at full capacity. In 1981, he returned to Niagara to hold the same position, until 1987 when he moved to White Plains to become NYPA’s vice president and chief engineer.

The initiatives that Lipsky helped to spearhead included ongoing life-extension-and-modernization programs by the Power Authority at Niagara and at the St. Lawrence Franklin D. Roosevelt Project in Massena, and one soon to officially begin at Blenheim-Gilboa. Other projects were the Authority’s construction of a 26-mile underground and underwater transmission line between Westchester and Long Island; a clean, efficient natural gas-fueled plant on Long Island that uses combined-cycle technology to harness hot gases normally lost in generating electricity; small, clean power plants in New York City that have been essential during summer peak-demand periods; and another combined-cycle plant in Queens, for economical power for thousands of public facilities in the city.

“I’ve always loved developing solutions for engineering challenges, and my experiences at NYPA have certainly afforded me those opportunities. “These have been satisfying years for which we’ve accomplished a lot,” said Lipsky, who is active in such industry organizations as the Electric Power Research Institute and Hydro Review magazine.

Lipsky, who plans to do part-time consulting for various energy companies, is spending more time with his family following his retirement from NYPA. He and his wife Carol have two sons and three grandchildren.

Photo and caption

About NYPA:

■    NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

Return to Press Center