NY Public Service Commission Demands  that Con Ed Improve Subway Power Reliability

NY Public Service Commission Demands that Con Ed Improve Subway Power Reliability

Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor

Governor Cuomo made the Con Ed announcement in remarks before the Association for a Better New York.

By Michael V. Cusenza
Following an investigation into Con Edison’s equipment failure that led to significant delays across Metropolitan Transportation Authority subways in April, State Public Service Commission Chairman and CEO John Rhodes is demanding that the utility take significant and immediate actions to improve the subway’s reliability and prevent future service breakdowns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday.
As the joint PSC-MTA investigation continues, Cuomo noted, Rhodes declared that Con Edison must analyze existing equipment failures, perform thorough and regular inspections and dedicate additional personnel and equipment to improve service. Con Edison must dedicate and assign a Crisis Response Team for the subway system and track performance through monthly reports to the PSC, Rhodes added.
“My expectation is that Con Edison will provide the necessary resources and its full cooperation to myself, the Commission, the staff of the Department of Public Service and the MTA in ensuring the remediation, maintenance and repair of the electricity services provided to the MTA,” Rhodes wrote in a letter to Con Ed CEO John McAvoy.
According to Cuomo, Con Edison will be expected to dedicate additional personnel and perform comprehensive inspections of all electronic equipment, install new sensors and monitoring equipment throughout the system, and create an advanced communications network.
“Over the past 12 months, power-related issues have caused more than 32,000 subway delays, and we will not accept this dangerous and irresponsible status quo,” Cuomo said. “Con Edison must safely and effectively provide electricity that powers the subway system, and this order will require Con Edison to bring their equipment and functionality into the 21st century to support the 21st century customers of the subway system.”
The utility will also be expected to create a pre-deployed stockpile of emergency generators and replace all aluminum cables with new failure-resistant copper cables and install redundant electric supply to eliminate single points of failure in its systems. Con Edison will perform an analysis of power supply and power quality affecting the signals throughout the subway system. Additionally, Con Edison will be required to inspect equipment in manholes, interlocking and station equipment and equipment serving high-voltage substations.

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