O&R prepares to meet high summer demand for electricity all year long with continued investments in projects that improve electric service reliability and the further development of energy efficiency programs that help customers use less energy, save money and reduce their carbon footprint. To prepare for this summer’s peak demands for electricity, O&R made investments totaling nearly $120 million this year to fortify and improve the reliability of its electric system. That investment builds on the nearly $840 million O&R has invested over the past 10 years on electric system maintenance and reliability projects.

Several operational steps have been taking to alleviate problems, including line clearance work in the form of specific tree-trimming projects, infrared inspections and transmission line patrols, and distribution equipment testing and inspections. O&R also is pursuing a strategy the company adopted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to provide additional storm protection at specific key electric system locations. Those electric system improvements include building additional electric circuits and undergrounding system-critical locations where multiple overhead circuits are present on distribution poles.

Since last summer, new projects designed to further enhance electric system reliability, especially during high summer demand, have been built and are in operation.

Those projects include:

Ramapo to Rock Tavern Transmission Project  This project includes a new 345kV transmission line that extends 27.4 miles from an existing substation in Ramapo to an existing substation in New Windsor, and upgrades at the connecting substations. This line (which includes a 15.5-mile O&R portion) will improve electric service reliability by increasing power flows from upstate to downstate, and, through a new substation on Sugarloaf Mountain in Chester, will increase power flow directly into O&R’s service territory. This project, which is now operational, is owned by New York Transco. New York Transco is a member-owned company that includes Con Edison Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc.; Grid NY, LLC, a subsidiary of National Grid PLC; Avangrid Networks New York Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc.; and Central Hudson Electric Transmission, a subsidiary of CH Energy Group, Inc.

Blue Lake Substation – Located on the former site of the King’s College in the Town of Warwick, this new substation will serve the new Watchtower Group facility and electric demand in Warwick, Tuxedo, Sloatsburg and Ringwood. This station became operational May 25.

Central Rockland Smart Grid – O&R is building a Smart Grid program that will improve electric service reliability for over 25,000 O&R customers in Central Rockland from Chestnut Ridge to West Nyack. The project, due for final completion in December, is approximately 75 percent operational now and will be supporting electric reliability for Rockland customers this summer.

The project also benefits all O&R customers because its implementation allows O&R to defer a major capital investment for a new substation and a substantial underground transmission line extension to serve that area. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is funding a portion of the project through a grant awarded to O&R to further Smart Grid research and development.

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