Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that approximately $72 million in federal funding will be dedicated to help Long Island's electric grid become more resilient in the event of major coastal flooding or severe storms by elevating substations in flood-prone areas.
"Superstorm Sandy revealed serious weaknesses in the management and operation of the power utility on Long Island. Now we are investing in giving Long Island ratepayers a stronger and better utility that will be ready for the next storm," Governor Cuomo said. "In Sandy's aftermath, the state moved aggressively to reform LIPA and put in place an effective and competent operator for the Long Island utility PSEG-Long Island -- while maintaining public ownership of the utility infrastructure and eligibility for federal funding. Today we are building on these efforts with the strengthening of these key vulnerable substations which will help protect Long Island residents from outages during major storms."
The funding includes $72 million for projects to raise as many as 32 flood-prone coastal power transmission and distribution substations.
The Governor today toured the Park Place substation, located on Water Street in Long Beach, which currently serves approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Long Beach, New York. In anticipation of Sandy, the Park Place substation was protected by a temporary wall of sand bags around the key pieces of equipment, but the storm surge and resultant flooding at the station ended up exceeding the sand bag protection level and over 4 feet of water infiltrated the switchgear building and damaged the electrical connections, batteries and other equipment in the station switchgear module.
In addition to Park Place substation, there were eleven other stations in the Rockaways, southern Nassau County and southern Suffolk County that were damaged due to the flood waters of Sandy. The raising of equipment or permanent protection of the equipment in all 12 stations is underway, and temporary flood walls have been erected to protect the sites during construction. An additional 20 substations across Long Island are located in the flood plain, and could be impacted by flooding from a future hurricane dependent on the path the storm takes. Federal funding will be dedicated to harden these substations, as well.
In addition to the projects announced today, at the state's direction a number of steps have been taken over the past year to fortify the power transmission system on Long Island. Measures include investing $16.5 million to trim 2,000 miles of trees along the electric system, removing approximately 1,000 hazardous damaged and diseased trees outside the normal trim zone capable of causing outages during major storms, and upgrading the size and strength of poles that house key equipment to better withstand the effects of hurricane strength winds. Additional hardening projects, including selective undergrounding of transmission and distribution lines are under consideration.
The twelve substations that were flooded by Sandy that will be elevated include:
- Rockaway Beach Substation (S/S Beach Channel Drive W/O Beach 108 Street , Rockaway beach, NY)
- Arverne Substation (End of Beach 53 Street S/S Rockaway Beach Blvd, Far Rockaway, NY)
- Far Rockaway Substation (End of Bay 24 Street N/O Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY)
- Woodmere Substation (LIPA ROW W/S Branch Blvd N/O 11th Street, Woodmere, NY)
- Long Beach Substation (On Long Beach Resource Recovery Property N/O Bay Drive W/O Riverside Blvd, Long Beach, NY)
- Park Place Substation (N/O Park Place W/O Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, NY)
- Barrett Substation (N/S Long Beach Road, Island park, NY)
- Captree Island Substation (E/S Captree Causeway, Captree Island, NY)
- Robert Moses Substation (N/S Ocean Shore Parkway E/O St. Park Water Tower, Fire Island, NY)
- Fair Harbor Substation (C/O Bay Walk and Oak Walk, Fire Island, NY)
- Ocean Beach Substation (Ocean Beach, Fire Island, NY)
- Fire Island Pines Substation (Fire Island Pines, Fire Island, NY)