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NYPA Joins Utility Industry Research Initiative for Energy Efficiency and ‘Smart Electric Grid’      

Michael Saltzman

February 21, 2007


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has joined a major utility research initiative to accelerate development of technologies for reduced electricity consumption as a means of lowering fossil-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, and electric bills.

NYPA and 35 other electric utilities from around the country are teaming up with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a major initiative to identify and influence the design and deployment of “smart energy” technologies. Equipment incorporating such technologies rely on embedded intelligence and communications capabilities for enhanced energy management and lower energy bills.

“These technologies generate real savings and are part of the solution for addressing concerns about global climate change and energy security,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “We’re excited to be participating in the EPRI research initiative and being at the forefront of efforts for advancing energy efficiency, which is a proven alternative for meeting power demand and dealing with environmental and energy security issues.”

Late last month, EPRI, an independent, nonprofit organization for energy and environmental research, announced the Dynamic Energy Management (DEM) initiative, which will include developing and testing equipment for transitioning the electric utility industry to a smart electric-grid system. It will also involve evaluation of commercial and retail appliances for optimal power usage in interacting with the grid.

“The DEM initiative represents a major step forward in development of an electricity system that is more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Arshad Mansoor, vice president, Power Deliver and Markets Sector, EPRI. “We will evaluate products to determine how well they function and whether they are inter-operative with utilities’ communications systems. This is a key component in creating demand-response and dynamic systems that facilitate getting prices to devices.”

New technologies can provide consumers with up-to-the-second energy usage and pricing information through the Internet, and the means to manage and control such usage, particularly during peak-demand times when electricity prices are at their highest. An EPRI facility in Knoxville, Tenn., will conduct the research.

The Power Authority is one of the leading utilities in the country for energy efficiency and clean generating technologies. Last year, it set a new one-year record, at nearly $118 million, for its investment in such energy services for tax-supported public facilities statewide. It also passed the $1 billion mark for total investment in these initiatives since the late 1980s, reducing the electricity demand of more than 2,400 facilities by about 200,000 kilowatts and annual utility bills by nearly $100 million. The projects have also cut oil use by nearly 2 million barrels a year and annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 760,000 tons.

The energy-efficiency measures and other clean energy services are as wide ranging as the beneficiaries, including new fluorescent lighting that is up to 70 percent more efficient than conventional fixtures, upgraded heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors, sensors, and automated energy management systems. Other projects have included replacing more than 186,000 refrigerators at public housing in New York City and Buffalo with more efficient units. NYPA has also installed 25 solar photovoltaic projects around the state and 14 fuel cells, including nine that harness the waste-gas by-product of five sewage-treatment plants in New York City and Westchester County.

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.

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