October 27, 2009

Gillibrand Announces More Than $136 Million For Smart Electric Grid Funding For New York – Federal Dollars Would Lower Costs in Lower Hudson Valley

Con Edison Applied For Federal Recovery Dollars To Modernize Grid, Install Smart Meters

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced more than $136 million that will help lower energy costs for residents in Westchester, Rockland, and Orange Counties and New York City. The federal funding will be used for an initiative by Con Edison to modernize the electric grid. The federal dollars would be allocated by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Senator Gillibrand helped pass earlier this year. The federal investment would help Con Edison's 3.3 million customers conserve energy and save on their electric bills.

"A smart electric grid is a win-win for New York consumers and the environment," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "As we transition to clean energy production, we need to have infrastructure in place like a smart electric grid. Con Edison is leading the way by building on clean energy investments they have already made. These federal dollars would help fuel the new economy, creating good paying, green jobs right here in New York."

"We want to make New York a model for showing how various technologies can work together to modernize the grid while incorporating alternative energy sources and creating green jobs," said Kevin Burke, chairman, president and CEO of Con Edison. "The diverse innovations will benefit over 9 million New Yorkers in our service area, including major medical facilities, transportation systems, media centers, small businesses and residential customers."

Con Edison is currently investing in wind, solar and smart grid technology to deliver cleaner sources of energy to New York consumers. The federal dollars would enhance these efforts by adding 40,000 smart meters, intelligent underground and overhead systems, and a sophisticated command and control center to serve as the "brain" of an enhanced, state-of-the-art smart grid. The ConEd initiative is shovel-ready, as they have already secured approval from New York regulators and have the support of the local community.

Last month, Senator Gillibrand wrote a letter to Steven Chu, Secretary of the Department of Energy, urging federal dollars for Con Edison. In the letter, Senator Gillibrand wrote, "These funds would be used for a demonstration project to integrate cutting-edge information and communication technology to support smart grid modernization efforts, provide more information about customer energy usage and help consumers conserve energy and save on their electricity bill."