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Energy As the Core of New York City

Craig S. Ivey

Consolidated Edison Company of New York (CECONY)

ABSTRACT

There are five critical components to the livable cities of the future: public safety, reliability, affordability, reduced environmental impact, and smarter and more secure facilities. Cities must also prepare for both a growing demand for power and the effects of increasingly severe weather patterns that threaten the grid. This became dramatically clear with Superstorm Sandy, which hit the New York City region three days after this symposium, on October 29, 2012.1 Utilities, urban planners, climate experts, government leaders, and regulators must all collaborate to determine the best approaches to fortify the city’s infrastructure and protect residents and businesses from future threats. New York City’s largest energy provider is taking steps to address challenges and meet needs in order to ensure delivery of these critical components.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Con Edison (Con Ed) and its 14,000 employees support one of the most active and densely populated areas in the country. New York City and Westchester County are home to 9 million people, and more than 50 million

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1 This paper was adapted for this publication to reflect the storm’s impact and Con Edison’s response.



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INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL 55 Energy As the Core of New York City Craig S. Ivey Consolidated Edison Company of New York (CECONY) ABSTRACT There are five critical components to the livable cities of the future: public safety, reliability, affordability, reduced environmental impact, and smarter and more secure facilities. Cities must also prepare for both a growing demand for power and the effects of increasingly severe weather patterns that threaten the grid. This became dramatically clear with Superstorm Sandy, which hit the New York City region three days after this symposium, on October 29, 2012.1 Utilities, urban planners, climate experts, government leaders, and regulators must all collaborate to determine the best approaches to fortify the city’s infrastructure and protect residents and businesses from future threats. New York City’s largest energy provider is taking steps to address challenges and meet needs in order to ensure delivery of these criti- cal components. FACTS AND FIGURES Con Edison (Con Ed) and its 14,000 employees support one of the most active and densely populated areas in the country. New York City and Westchester County are home to 9 million people, and more than 50 million 1 This paper was adapted for this publication to reflect the storm’s impact and Con Edi- son’s response.

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electric customers and 1.1 million gas customers (Figure 1). The intense energy demand of the area requires a reliable energy infrastructure, and Con Ed substations are designed to safely meet the community’s energy needs. 56 LIVABLE CITIES OF THE FUTURE • 3.3 million electric customers • 1.1 million gas customers • 1,750 steam customers • 698 MW of regulated generation • Delivered 41% of NYS 2010 electric peak consumption 2 ON IT FIGURE 1 Energy Provision in New York City and Environs FIGURE 1  Energy Provision in New York City and Environs Sandy’s relentless winds and unprecedented storm surge caused damage across the region unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Catastrophic flooding and corrosive salt water destroyed electrical equipment and downed trees ravaged our overhead system, making repairs difficult and time consuming. Now and in the future, thoughtful, forward-thinking construction willon 2011 data. systems reliableserves “new visitors come to the city each year, based help keep our The company for the normal” that3.3 million electric customers and 1.1 million gas customers (Figure 1). The we must design and prepare for in the wake of Sandy. Our investment in smart demand of the area requires a reliable energy infrastructure, intense energy grid technologies and other innovations allow greater flexibility and reliability duringCon Ed substations are designed thesafely meetyears Con Ed has implemented a and extreme weather. For example, for to past seven the community’s energy 1 needs. Sandy’s relentless winds and unprecedented storm surge caused damage across the region unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Catastrophic flooding and corrosive salt water destroyed electrical equipment and downed trees ravaged our overhead system, making repairs difficult and time consuming. Now and in the future, thoughtful, forward-thinking construction will help keep our systems reliable for the “new normal” that we must design and prepare for in the wake of Sandy. Our investment in smart grid technologies and other innovations allow greater flexibility and reliability during extreme weather. For example, for the past seven years Con Ed has implemented a policy requiring any new business in a flood zone to either install submersible electrical equipment or locate its electrical equipment at higher elevations. CHALLENGES Efforts to minimize construction in the streets are challenging and costly because of numerous underground structures that compete for limited space

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locate its electrical equipment at higher elevations. Challenges Efforts to minimize construction in the streets are challenging and costly because of numerous underground structures that compete for limited space to accommodate growing demands not only for INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL electricity but also for the distribution of communications, water, and natural gas (Figure 2). 57 FIGURE 2 2  Construction in is expensive and challenging. FIGURE Construction in NYC NYC is expensive and challenging. In addition, demand is at peak—above 12,000 megawatts (MW)—for only 36 hours per year (Figure 3). Peak demand occurs when many users across an energy system simultaneously increase their energy use—for example, in the growing demands day ofonly for record-breaking heat,also for the to accommodate afternoon or evening of a not extreme or electricity but when both homes and offices of communications,and households also turn on televisions, computers, distribution turn up the air conditioning water, and natural gas (Figure 2). washers and dryers, and other appliances. In the absence of storage mechanisms energy must be produced when it is demanded, so demand is at peak—aboveready to meet peak demand (MW)—for In addition, the infrastructure as a whole must be 12,000 megawatts even if it is idle for the balance of the per year (Figure 3). Peak demand occurs when many users only 36 hours year. across an energy system simultaneously increase their energy use—for example, in the afternoon or evening of a day of extreme or record-breaking heat, when both homes and offices turn up the air conditioning and house- holds also turn on televisions, computers, washers and dryers, and other appliances. In the absence of storage mechanisms energy must be produced when it is demanded, so the infrastructure as a whole must be ready to meet peak demand even if it is idle for the balance of the year. SOLUTIONS 2 Smart grids enable two-way communication between our facilities and our customers’ equipment (e.g., smart meters, distributed generators, plug-in vehicles), and switches enhance flexibility in the network, thus increasing reliability (Figure 4). Smart grid technology, which relies on underground auto-loop and wireless-controlled switches, reduces the likelihood and sever- ity of service disruption caused by a network event. During Sandy, Con Ed was able to use remote sensors on the distribution system and remotely operated switches to reduce the damage to the system and speed up repairs. New sensors allowed control room operators to see

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58 LIVABLE CITIES OF THE FUTURE FIGURE 3  Utilities must invest to support a very short peak period. CECONY = Consoli- FIGURE 3 Utilities must invest to York. a very short peak period. CECONY = Consolidated Edison dated Edison Company of New support Company of New York. Solutions Smart grids enable two-way on feeders and, in conjunction and our customers’ equipment (e.g., real-time power flows communication between our facilities with remotely operated smart meters,made it possible to plug-in vehicles), andmore quickly. flexibility in the network, switches, distributed generators, reinstate service switches enhance thus increasing reliability (Figure 4). Smart grid technology, which relies on underground auto-loop and Con Ed was also able to sectionalize overhead lines ahead of the storm wireless-controlled switches, reduces the likelihood and severity of service disruption caused by a to improve both outage restoration times and public safety. New under- network event. ground switches designed byto use remoteengineersthe distribution system and remotely During Sandy, Con Ed was able company sensors on have been installed, allow- operated switches to reduce the damage to the system and speed up repairs. New sensors allowed control ing greater flexibility and reliability during weather events and enhancing room operators to see real-time power flows on feeders and, in conjunction with remotely operated the ability both to monitor underground transformers, network protectors, switches, made it possible to reinstate service more quickly. Con Ed was also able to sectionalize overhead lines ahead of the storm to improve both outage and other equipment and to isolate problems. In addition, recently installed restoration times and public safety. New underground switches designed by company engineers have been flood detectors in low-lying substations alert operators when flood waters installed, allowing greater flexibility and reliability during weather events and enhancing both the ability reach critical levels. to monitor underground transformers, network protectors, and other equipment and to isolate problems. In addition, recently installed flood detectors in low-lying substationsgeneration. With flood waters There has also been a shift in sources of energy alert operators when devel- reach critical levels. opment of the Marcellus Shale formation, some coal plants have been retired and new gas plants have been established. Natural gas is a much cleaner source of energy than coal and oil. Furthermore, in 2010 renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power exceeded the amount of oil-based 3 energy in the region.

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FIGURE 4 Schematic of Smart Grid Components and Layout FIGURE 4  Schematic of Smart Grid Components and Layout There has also been a shift in sources of energy generation. With development of the Marcellus Shale formation, some coal plants have been retired and new gas plants have been established. Natural gas is a 59 much cleaner source of energy than coal and oil. Furthermore, in 2010 renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power exceeded the amount of oil-based energy in the region. Closing Remarks

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60 LIVABLE CITIES OF THE FUTURE CLOSING REMARKS For a city to be livable, safety is critically important, as are reliability, risk reduction, and affordability. As urban sites continue to grow, reduced envi- ronmental impacts, smarter systems, and more secure infrastructure are also paramount to the future of the cities and their inhabitants all over the world. Con Ed is committed to working with other stakeholders to determine the most cost-effective ways to protect our systems and the public from future natural disasters and to prepare for the demands of future growth without sacrificing reliability.