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smart grid initiative

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a smart grid? 
A smart grid puts information and communication technology into electricity generation, delivery, and consumption, making systems cleaner, safer, and more reliable and efficient.

How will customers benefit from smart grid?
Customers will benefit from increased reliability, added capacity through increased system efficiency, reduced outage response time, and reduced operating and maintenance costs.

Can New York be a model for smart grid? 
New York can be a model for smart grid implementation, especially for other dense urban areas.  The unique challenges in New York and the solutions we will test and refine in the smart grid demonstration can contribute to success in implementing smart grid in other areas with similar challenges.

Who is paying for the current smart grid initiatives?
The Smart Grid initiatives are funded in part from two significant grants totaling $181 million from the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

What are some of the challenges of a smart grid in New York City? 
Smart grid technologies must be able to accommodate the unique qualities of our electric system and population.  One of the challenges is the terrain of the city.  The buildings in New York City create canyons which make a conventional wireless communication approach difficult without significant investment.  Also, a vast majority of the electric infrastructure is underground and requires equipment to be rugged, presenting challenges for wireless communication.  The overall density of the company’s electric infrastructure compared to other population centers and electric utilities is also a challenge.  Furthermore, the typical New York residence is quite different from other less urban populations in the country, in terms of size and energy consumption.

How do renewable resources play into a smart grid?  Plug-in electric vehicles?
Renewable energy resources can provide additional generation, that can offset the energy required to supply customers and can provide system support during contingencies.  Electric cars can connect to the smart grid and charge overnight or when demand is low, for a cleaner, greener planet.  Plug-in electric cars may potentially serve as an energy resource and support the electric grid; dispatchable control and smart grid technology is required to accomplish this.

What are you doing with renewables?
Con Edison is part of a collaborative between the private sector and a host of New York State and New York City agencies working on what could be the largest offshore wind farm proposal in the country.  The offshore wind project would be situated approximately 13 miles off the south shore of the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean. The wind project would likely be designed for 350 megawatts (MW) of generation, with the ability to expand it to 700 MW, giving it the potential to be the largest offshore wind project in the country.  We have a joint Web site: www.linycoffshorewind.com.

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