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NYPA trustees approve 2018 operating budget


Wed, Dec 20th 2017 12:35 pm
Disciplined spending plan furthers goal of becoming all-digital utility while maximizing value for customers
The New York Power Authority board of trustees has approved a budget for the 2018 fiscal year that enables NYPA to rapidly respond to changes in the energy landscape while becoming the nation's first utility to fully digitize its operations. The programs outlined in this year's budget plan will help meet Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Clean Energy Standard, which requires half of all electricity in New York come from renewable sources by 2030. The initiatives also are in alignment with the governor's "Reforming the Energy Vision" strategy to create an energy system that is cleaner, more resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers.
"NYPA's top priorities in 2018 are to make the additional investments needed to maximize customer value while also accelerating the innovation that has made us a national leader among public utilities," said John R. Koelmel, chairman, NYPA board of trustees. "This operating plan ensures we achieve those objectives while meeting relevant financial targets, exercising appropriate financial rigor and maintaining our industry-leading record of safety, reliability and sustainability."
The budget, which takes effect Jan. 1, also positions NYPA, the largest state-owned utility in the U.S., to invest in new technologies that will better respond to the needs of customers, with the aim of both lowering its electricity bill and making facilities more energy efficient.
The budget also supports NYPA's transition toward becoming the nation's first all-digital utility. On Dec. 11, NYPA opened its Integrated Smart Operations Center at its White Plains headquarters, which will deploy thousands of sensors to monitor the asset health of NYPA's 16 generating facilities as well as its 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. Using advanced software, NYPA will be able to predict and remedy potential equipment issues before they happen.
"Our investment in our Integrated Smart Operations Center enables us to have a digital twin of each of our power assets and allows us to collect performance data more rapidly," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "The more we know, the better we can keep down our maintenance expenses and, in turn, we can provide more value for our customers, who rely on us to provide some of the lowest-cost power available in the state."
The budget includes expanded investments in projects that will integrate more renewable energy onto the New York state grid, and increased investment in solutions expected by customers who now have more choices about when and how to use electricity. NYPA will also be increasing its investment in replacing and expanding transmission capacity needed to integrate renewables and lessen congestion costs to customers.
Additional initiatives that benefit customers include digital energy management to provide more data about energy use to increase efficiency measures, LED streetlight conversion, and demand response management, which enables customers to save on energy costs by reducing electric load during peak usage times on the power grid.
The 2018 spending plan affirms NYPA's financial position - its bond ratings are among the highest nationwide for a public utility and limit borrowing costs - and provides for $474.5 million for operations and maintenance, $258.8 million for capital investment and $194.8 million for energy services programs.
The trustees also passed the budget for the New York State Canal Corp., which is operated as a subsidiary of NYPA. It calls for $82 million for operations and maintenance and $40 million for capital spending.
The board also approved a four-year financial plan for 2018-21 that includes the 2018 budget and forecasts of revenues and expenditures for the following three years. It commits to the full digitization of NYPA operations and using capital to attract partners from the private sector while enforcing tight cost controls on utility operations.
NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.

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