Funding Through Fuel NY Will Support Installation of Permanent Emergency Generators at Gas Stations in New York City, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $12 million for the installation of permanent emergency generators at downstate retail gas stations to ensure they have back-up power capacity after major storms and emergencies. This funding will advance efforts under the Governor’s Fuel NY initiative to ensure strategically-located gas stations are operational and able to provide gas to first responders and community residents when power is disrupted. This announcement coincides with the start of the summer hurricane season.
"During Superstorm Sandy we experienced first-hand the crippling effects that gasoline disruptions have on recovery operations," Governor Cuomo said. "As hurricane season approaches, this Fuel NY funding will help prevent this scenario from repeating during future emergencies and ensuring our first responders have the resources to help those in need."
Governor Cuomo launched Fuel NY in his 2013 State of the State address to improve access to gasoline during a severe storm or other major weather event. It was developed as a direct response to gas shortages that occurred during Superstorm Sandy, and includes the nation’s strongest back-up power requirements for gas stations in strategic locations.
The $12 million Permanent Generator Initiative will make grants available on a competitive basis for strategic gas stations to offset costs of purchasing and installing a permanent emergency generator. It is estimated the funding will support installation of permanent generators at up to 200 stations. The initiative uses funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Under Fuel NY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority works closely with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to enhance the State’s preparedness and response capabilities for future storms and energy emergencies. NYSERDA will administer the Permanent Generator grant initiative. To apply for a grant, gas stations should visit http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/PON3256. Applications for funding will be accepted through September 15, 2016.
In addition to the Permanent Generator Initiative to improve downstate access to gasoline during a severe storm or other weather event, under Governor Cuomo, utility regulations and oversight have been tightened and additional state and federal funding secured to better prepare and react to extreme weather events. As a result of these efforts, Long Island electric customers are already benefiting from a $730 million storm-hardening program, protecting key substations from potential outages and a new modern outage management system to better track outages and communicate with customers. Similarly, Con Edison has been directed by New York State to invest nearly $460 million to strengthen the company’s electric, natural gas and steam distribution system.
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, “Governor Cuomo's Fuel NY initiative continues to bolster New York’s emergency response and preparedness to protect our communities and enhance response capabilities when a weather emergency impacts our state. As part of New York's comprehensive approach, the installation of permanent emergency generators at downstate gas stations will further strengthen the regional fueling network.”
Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets said, “Fuel NY is another example of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protecting our communities during severe weather and the Department is proud to partner with NYSERDA and DHSES to ensure the state is prepared in the event of an emergency. These kinds of infrastructure upgrades are key to maintaining the safety of New Yorkers and providing help when it’s needed most.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “In the event of a disaster or emergency, residents may have to leave an area quickly to find safety while first responders are heading to and working in an area without power. In both situations, access to fuel to operate personal and emergency vehicles is critical to responding to, and recovering from, an emergency event. This grant is another way to help strategically located gas stations cover costs associated with backup power generation during a crisis.”
Under Fuel NY, the State also has a system to deploy portable emergency generators to downstate stations that do not have permanent emergency generators in New York City, Long Island, and Rockland and Westchester counties. The installation of permanent generators through this new $12 million initiative will speed up electrical power availability to operate gas pumps. Further, it will reduce the need for portable generators and the associated cost and actions to secure, deliver and connect those generators in emergency conditions during the recovery period.
New York has also established the nation’s first Strategic Gasoline Reserve, which currently maintains a 2.5-million-gallon fuel supply on Long Island that can be used if storms disrupt critical fuel deliveries to New York. In addition, approximately 2.5 million gallons of gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel are stored in strategic fuel reserve terminals in Upstate New York to assist first responders during fuel or energy supply emergencies.