Assemblyman Crespo’s proposal to ensure State’s health and safety infrastructure has power during emergencies is included in State’s budget deal
ALBANY, NEW YORK – (03/21/2013) --- New York State is a step closer to protecting its critical health and safety infrastructure thanks to legislation (A. 4862A/S.3845) proposed by Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo earlier this year and included in the budget deal reached with the Governor and the Legislature (A3008D). The proposal, set to become state law, will begin the process of including microgrids in emergency planning to protect vital infrastructure with an eventual full roll-out of the technology when recommendations required by the proposal are funded and implemented.
According to Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy, “Had New York State constructed microgrids to protect hospitals, first responder headquarters such as police and fire stations, emergency shelters, schools, water filtration plants, sewage treatment plants and other infrastructure, the extent of the damage caused by Super Storm Sandy would have been tremendously mitigated.”
He added, “In New York, hospitals, police stations, fire stations, sewage and water filtration plants all lost power rendering inoperable critical health and public safety infrastructure. This loss of power threatened the lives of hospital patients and elderly and harmed our environment when tons of untreated toxic waste was released into waterways and neighborhoods.”
Microgrids are a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that act as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. They can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable them to operate in both grid-connected or island-mode.
The proposal, which will be adopted as part of the State’s 2013-14 budget, was strongly supported by Senator Malcolm A. Smith, Co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Specifically, the proposal requires the Department of Public Service and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to collaborate with NYSERDA and report, by April 1, 2014, on how to implement and fund microgrid technologies to protect vital public health and safety infrastructure.
Crespo said, “The extent of severe damage caused by recent storms demonstrates the tremendous benefits of having microgrids in place to protect critical public health and safety infrastructure.” He added, “It is very clear that microgrids are needed in order to fully protect the expensive and extensive public safety and health infrastructure New York has developed.”
“In addition, microgrid technology can serve to save lives by not only protecting the communication systems of first responders but also by protecting the electrical needs of hospitals and nursing homes where patients are connected to life-saving electrical equipment.”
He added, “News accounts documented the life-threatening loss of power to hospitals, nursing homes and residences for the disabled. Infirmed and fragile elderly had to be moved to higher floors and evacuated without access to elevators and life-sustaining electric equipment. Some 4000 nursing home patients needed the help of 1,500 the National Guard to evacuate facilities where power was lost. My proposal will help prevent such chaos in the future.”
“New York State has started spending $10 billion of the $33 billion in Super Storm Sandy federal disaster relief on repairing the damage to electric circuits and the power grid. But soon loss of power and damage to critical public health and safety infrastructure will be prevented. I am excited that my proposal will be acted upon and New York will take the next steps to prevent the widespread loss of power and damage to critical infrastructure we have witnessed,” declared Crespo.