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Con Edison Engineer From Highland, N.Y. Wins Two Awards For Environmental Research

A Con Edison engineer from Highland, N.Y. has won two prestigious awards from a leading industry organization for his work on environmental projects.

Gary Thorn, a section manager in Central Engineering, won a pair of Technology Transfer Awards from the Electric Power Research Institute for research that will benefit marine life in the East River.

Con Edison has a system of five screens with fine mesh panels to filter fish, eggs and larvae from the cooling water intake at the East River Generating Station in Manhattan. Thorn was a member of a team that found eggs and larvae have higher survival rates passing through the cooling system and being channeled back into the river as opposed to being removed by the screens.

The findings could allow Con Edison to remove the fine mesh screens and replace them with larger screens that are easier and less expensive to maintain.

That team also included: Brian Brush, section manager in Environmental Health and Safety; Cristina B. Lombardi, project manager in Steam Operations; Hugh P. O’Neill, project manager in Electric Operations; and Scott Salmon, a scientist in Environmental Health and Safety.

In addition, Thorn and Daniel Tsang, a manager in Steam Projects Engineering, won an award for a related project.

They developed a model that confirmed the effectiveness of the equipment that relieves the pressure on the screens when they become clogged with debris. When the screens become clogged, an underwater door opens to let water into the plant’s cooling system and relieve the stress on the screens. Con Edison then sends personnel to clear the debris and place the system back in normal operation.

Thorn, who joined Con Edison in September 2008, won a Technology Transfer Award in 2015 for research that led to the development of the marine-life protection system in the river.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $48 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to about 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y.