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In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, New York-based Con Edison has announced plans to invest $1 billion on storm protection measures over the next four years in New York City and Westchester County.

In addition to steps such as burying power lines and fortifying critical equipment in flood-prone areas, the utility's plans include the following:

- Redesigning two underground electrical networks in lower Manhattan and one serving coastal communities in Brooklyn. Con Edison says the new smart grid designs will allow the company to pre-emptively de-energize customers in flood-prone areas and restore power faster when floodwaters recede, while keeping customers in the surrounding areas with power.

- Installing hundreds of remote "smart" switches to isolate damaged equipment to help reduce the number of homes that lose power when a tree knocks down a power cable; and

- Deploying thousands of overhead isolation devices to reduce customer outages and facilitate faster restoration.

"Sandy caused incredible damage to our energy delivery systems, disrupting the lives of millions of New Yorkers," says Con Edison Chairman and CEO Kevin Burke. "While we recognize that these weather events represent a 'new normal,' our goal through our investments is to lessen the hardships that violent weather causes for our customers."

Last year, Superstorm Sandy caused more than 1 million power outages in Con Edison’s service area, affecting approximately one-third of the utility's customers.

Con Edison has also announced it is investing $1.2 billion this year overall to upgrade its electric delivery system and enhance reliability for hot summer months.

System-wide improvements under way include installation of 31 network transformers, six new feeders and 207 overhead transformers, as well as reinforcement of 46 feeders, 100 underground sections and 250 overhead spans. Upgrades to two unit substations also are in progress.




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