Photo © Governor Andrew Cuomo/Flickr
Just in the past month, power problems caused 32,000 subway delays, prompting Governor Cuomo to direct “Con Edison to take significant and immediate actions to improve the subway’s power reliability and prevent future service failure,” according to a press release. Less than two months after declaring a “state of emergency” for the subway system, Cuomo’s given Con Ed and the MTA one year to identify and repair the problems, the most comprehensive power review ever done, leaving them on the hook to inspect 470 manholes, 1,100 boxes, and 221 power substations at street level and 1,100 energy distribution rooms, 300 signal relay rooms, 15,000 track circuits, 11,000 signals, 13,750 insulated joints, 11,000 trip stops, 220 interlockings, and 1,800 switch machines below ground. The cost? It’s not yet been officially calculated, but Con Ed chairman John McAvoy says it’s likely to be tens of millions of dollars.
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Image via 350.org flickr
Con Edison announced Monday that the utility company will offer solar panels and batteries to 300 Brooklyn and Queens homes as part of a plan to create a virtual power plant for the city’s power grid, as the company outlines in a “Clean Virtual Power Plant” implementation plan (pdf). Quartz reports that Con Ed, partnered with solar-panel manufacturer Sunpower and energy storage company SunVerge, plans to use these “grid assets” as backup power and as a source of electricity and balancing services for the grid.
Residential Con Ed customers will be able to lease the solar and lithium-ion battery systems from the power company for a small fee that will appear on their bill. There is currently no net metering method in place for the homeowners to sell power back to the grid as some individual solar panel users do, though ConEd says that if the project is successful it will allow suppliers/aggregators of solar rooftop and battery systems to sell to the grid.
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