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Dr Mathew Cordaro, LIU
November 2, 2007 @ 12:00 am EDT
Our speaker this morning was Dr. Matthew Cordaro. Matt heads up energy research and policy development at The Center for Management Analysis at Post Dr Cordaro Has been in the utility field for many years and was SR VP of LILCO at one point.
Matt pointed out that National Grid is a formidable entity with the wealth and experience to service the region, and they were approved as an operating company based some promises that were made to the regulators. Basically those commitments revolved around the need for Grid to maintain a workforce large enough to be able to restore power in the case of a major catastrophe. According to Cordaro 90% of the present workforce has never experienced a major hurricane and that fact creates an exposure.
Cordaro said it is up to us to maintain pressure on the operators to live up to the commitments that they made.
Dr. Cordaro said he was confident in the new leadership under Kevin Law at LIPA, but Law never had any direct utility experience. There are serious challenges that Mr. Law will have to deal with. The system is aging and there is a complicated contractual arrangement with Grid. There have been $2 Billion in investment by LIPA and that has to be paid for as well.
Conservation has always been promoted as a means of avoiding the cost of new power plant construction, but these conservation programs cost money and they too have to be paid for. There are many challenges for LIPA and Grid, but none insurmountable.
The conversation then went on to repowering. LIMBA has been a long time proponent of repowering. Repowering is essentially rebuilding high efficiency, state of the art power plants at existing locations. The problem here is that not all the existing sites are good candidates for repowering. As one of the audience pointed out the task is more costly than creating a new power plant in a new location. The old sites have in some cases real estate limitations. That is, not enough room to build while leaving the old plant in service. The one plant that everyone seems to agree is viable for repowering is Barrett. There probably is one or two others. An alternative is building new plants in new places “virtual repowering” The examples given the new Caithness plant in Bellport and the proposed Keyspan plant on Spagnoli Rd in Melville