In order to better understand climate trends and protect its power systems, Con Edison has partnered with the State University of New York at Albany and invested $3 million to install eight weather stations across Queens and nine more across New York, the power company announced this week.
The New York City Micronet project will see weather stations installed in Flushing, Long Island City, Astoria, Howard Beach, South Ozone Park and Maspeth. The data from the stations will help Con Edison guide its investments towards protecting its energy-delivery systems from severe weather events, according to the company.
A record number of Con Edison customers in the New York City area lost power during Tropical Storm Isaias in early August, including 73,000 customers in Queens. However, the installation of the weather stations is unrelated to the damage caused by Isaias, according Con Edison. The power stations were in progress prior to Isaias and are instead a response to all of the severe weather New York City has experienced in the past decade, a representative for the company said.
“Climate change makes smart infrastructure planning and design essential,” said Charles Viemeister, Con Edison’s project manager. “We’ll use data from the Micronet to gain additional insight into the local short-term and longer-term impacts of climate change. We are always looking for technologies that can help us maintain the resilient, reliable service our customers need.”
The weather stations will monitor temperature, air pressure, wind speeds and direction, precipitation and other weather variables. Six of the stations will be installed on the roofs of Con Edison buildings and the other 11 will be installed at ground level on Con Edison property.
The data collected by the weather stations will be sent to the university, which will in turn give the data to Con Edison and be made available to the public, the company said.
Con Edison expects the weather stations to be installed and fully operational by the end of 2020.
In addition to the weather stations, Con Edison has begun to make upgrades to its energy delivering system in Westchester County, which was heavily affected by Tropical Storm Isaias. The power company also recently commissioned a weather study, which suggested the company make an investment between $1.8 billion and $5.2 billion by 2050 on targeted programs to protect its systems against severe weather events.