Ken Daly Pres National Grid NY
August 24, 2012 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Our speaker this morning was Ken Daly, President of National Grid NY; this was a good follow-up to our last week’s speaker from LIPA. The major players in electric energy are in flux, and the audience was very interested in what we could expect.
Mr. Daly began by stressing that the corporation considers safety to be an important aspect of their business. Hurricanes and winter related failures are of primary importance. Now that National Grid no longer has the LIPA distribution contract, but it will still generate 2/3 of the electric power. And they will still be supplying gas just as they did in the past.
PSE&G will be LIPA’s contractor. The good news is that the workforce will remain the same.
National Grid will continue to build out the gas supply distribution system. According to Ken it is a slow and costly process, but there are plans to serve a lot more people. After these last two weeks presentations we can appreciate some of the complex issues that these entities are dealing with.
National Grid is building a gas supply line that will cross the water coming from Brooklyn to the Rockaways near the Marine Parkway Bridge. It will travel down the Rockaway peninsula and emerge in Nassau County. This will be an additional source of natural gas for Long Island.
Keeping rates low requires a concerted effort to keep company operations efficient. In addition they are working on efficiencies that are on the customer side. He also noted that the gas itself has never been less costly as it is presently. That may fluctuate a little, but Daly thinks the long-term prospects of low price gas are excellent. He based that prediction on the fact that we are producing a lot of gas at the wellhead and there appears to be an enormous amount of gas in the ground. According to Daly a home gas conversions from oil reduces pollutants that are equivalent to removing 45 cars from the road.
Ken then spoke about the many community involvements that National Grid addresses. The Girl Scouts and United Way had representatives in the room and both of them praised National Grid for the assistance they provide. National Grid’s school speaker program encourages students to pursue STEM. This acronym stands for Science Technology, Engineering and Math. This education formula leads to well paying and interesting jobs, and industry needs these people. Encouraging students in this direction is good for the Long Island region and it has long-term benefits to business. In other words we all win.
The Cinderella Project was first developed by the Brooklyn Union Gas Company National Grid’s predecessor in 1966. That community initiative revitalizes areas that need to be rehabilitated. The modern Cinderella program is a more focused on green technologies when executing Cinderella projects
It was pointed out that methane gas (natural gas) has a higher potential for greenhouse effect than CO2. How good is leak prevention and detection? Daly said the new distribution system components are very effective at providing system integrity.
Another question was on repowering old plants. Daly said that interim work has made the old generating units measurably cleaner.