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10 Con Edison Researchers Win Awards For Reliability Projects

Findings on Solar Storms, Substations to Help U.S. Utilities -- A group of 10 Con Edison engineers won prestigious recognition for findings that will help the utility industry continue to provide customers with reliable electrical service.

"Electricity plays a greater, more crucial role in American life than ever before," said Craig S. Ivey, the president of Con Edison. "Our security, economy and quality of life all depend on safe, reliable power. The findings our researchers have made with EPRI will help utilities provide the high-quality service customers need."

One of the research projects will help utilities protect their equipment from solar storms, or geomagnetic disturbances.

Solar storms release clouds of charged particles from the sun. Those particles can interact with the earth's magnetic field and cause electromagnetic interference on electrical equipment. While a typical solar storm may cause no impact, a large-scale storm can damage equipment like transformers and cause power problems, including a blackout, over a large area.

Con Edison's researchers worked with EPRI to study how electrical systems are likely to respond to solar storms and how utilities can upgrade their systems to ensure reliability and protect equipment during these events.

The team was led by Matt Koenig, section manager in Transmission Planning, and included Technology Transfer Award winners Hibourahima Camara, Jalpa Desai, Vincenzo Panuccio, Eric Remolona and Sergo Sagareli.

A second Con Edison team studied the potential damage to the concrete and steel structure of substations resulting from a fault on an electric circuit.

When a fault occurs, breakers open to remove the circuit from service. But this creates shockwaves that impact substations.

The team created computer models of substation equipment and the support structures, and simulated faults to determine the potential stress and damage. The findings will help Con Edison and other utilities determine the most cost-effective types of protections to build into substations.

The team was led by Sanjay Bose, vice president, Central Engineering, and Luciano Villani, department manager in Project Engineering. It also included awardees Patrick DiLillo, Jenyffer Lopez, and Sergo Sagareli.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $46 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.