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NY’s Smart Grid projects move ahead

New York State Public Service Commission has voted to grant Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc.’s request to establish a surcharge to collect certain costs related to smart grid projects approved under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

The commission also voted to allow five other utilities, including Rochester Gas & Electric Corp., to establish deferral mechanisms to collect the costs of approved ARRA projects in New York.

As part of the ARRA initiative, the federal government will provide $392.5 million for several smart grid projects proposed by New York’s utilities. Con Edison will receive the largest share of the award; its projects include $136.2 million for transmission and distribution projects under the federal Department of Energy’s smart grid investment grant program.

Under the same grant program, the New York Independent System Operator, on behalf of transmission owner utilities, will receive an award of $37.4 million for statewide capacitor banks and phasor measurement units to help enhance the reliability and efficiency of the bulk electricity grid and provide the foundation for further development of smart grid infrastructure in New York State.

The six New York investor-owned electric utilities filed surcharge mechanisms to recover costs associated with the projects.

Con Edison plans to recover $145.2 million gradually from its customers for its ARRA projects via a surcharge. The utility estimates that impact on the average residential customer would be approximately $0.28 per month or about $3.36 annually.