Ernie Fazio Interviewed LIPA Chief Executive Officer Tom Falcone on “Improving Our Power Infrastructure”
Tom Falcone (second from right), Chief Executive Officer, LIPA, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA meeting, which took place on November 3 at the Courtyard Marriott in Ronkonkoma. He is joined by (left to right) Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; Bill Miller, Treasurer, LIMBA; Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA; and Steven A. Fangmann, P.E., BCEE, Executive Vice President, D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C., the event’s sponsor.
On November 3, Ernie Fazio, Chairman, Long Island Metro Business Action (LIMBA), interviewed Tom Falcone, Chief Executive Officer, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), during the LIMBA meeting at the Courtyard Marriott in Ronkonkoma. Some topics covered included changing trends in energy sources, preparing for natural disasters and preventing outages.
During his presentation “Improving Our Power Infrastructure,” Mr. Falcone was asked whether LIPA will continue to embrace renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. He said the utility will continue to meet Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy goals by investing in renewable energy sources and battery technology to store or distribute excess energy. As for whether LIPA plans to purchase wind and solar energy from other states, Mr. Falcone said it would not be necessary at this time because, among other things, LIPA produces enough energy to power Long Island until 2035.
With this year marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Falcone said LIPA’s service provider, PSEG Long Island, strengthened the electric grid through a $730 million storm hardening grant secured by Governor Cuomo through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This includes installing storm-resistant utility poles with stronger wires and elevating substations in flood-prone areas. In addition, PSEG Long Island launched a comprehensive tree-trimming program to avoid tree branches that may get caught up in the wires. According to Mr. Falcone, fallen trees and branches are the number one cause of outages.
Whenever a natural disaster strikes, Mr. Falcone said, LIPA has a “mutual aid” agreement with other utility companies in the U.S. For example, when Sandy hit, thousands of out-of-state workers helped utility crews restore power. If a certain part of the country loses power, it is only right that LIPA sends its crews to the troubled area to assist.
Mr. Falcone was appointed CEO of LIPA in March 2016 and also serves as CEO of the Utility Debt Securitization Authority. His previous positions with LIPA include Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff. Before joining LIPA, he was an investment banker and advisor to publicly owned utilities and state and local governments. He is also a board member of the Large Public Power Council and the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University.
For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.
Since 1968, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has been Long Island’s catalyst for economic investment and improvement, sponsoring lively breakfast forums featuring Long Island business activists and government officials. Its mission is to promote and address issues that affect the quality of life on Long Island. For more information, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.