Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

NYPA, N.Y. utilities collaborate to refine mutual aid procedures

The New York Power Authority (NYPA), along with its New York State utility partners, has reviewed and updated its mutual assistance protocol in advance of the winter storm season, NYPA reported on Dec. 6.

The update further details and strengthens the escalation of requests and coordination of mutual assistance resources with the electric industry national mutual assistance programs, which bring resources throughout the United States to New York in the event of widespread electric outages.

The updated protocol builds on the existing protocol established in 2016 among Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric, PSEG Long Island, National Grid, as well as the members of the New York Association of Public Power and the Municipal Electric Utilities Association of New York State.

In addition, the updated protocol outlines the escalation of unmet needs to the American Public Power Association national mutual assistance program. It will provide NYPA and the state of New York with an expanded pool of resources from municipal utilities across the country, including NYPA’s existing customers from the neighboring states of New York, NYPA noted.

“The American Public Power Association’s mutual aid program is honored to be a component of NYPA’s mutual aid planning,” said the Association’s Senior VP of Engineering Services Mike Hyland. “Public power’s vast network of utilities has a long and successful history of meeting the needs of the electric utility industry during mutual aid events.” (Additional information about the Association’s mutual aid program is available here).

Meanwhile, NYPA said it has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA), which will advance the interests of Ontario’s locally-owned electricity distribution companies.

The MOU provides a mechanism to facilitate communication of cross-border assistance requests initiated by the utilities.

“With storms seemingly becoming more severe and frequent, it is critical that we’re unified and prepared to recover from them quickly,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “The updated mutual assistance protocol and new MOU improve the ability of NYPA and the other utilities in New York State to respond effectively and efficiently during emergency situations.”