Pheffer Amato Pushes for Microgrids during Joint Legislative Hearing in Response to Tropical Storm Isaias

August 25, 2020

South Queens, New York Last week, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens), participated in a joint legislative hearing to address the emergency storm response and customer communication practices by utility companies located across the state. On August 4th, Tropical Storm Isaias hit New York with heavy rain, tornadoes, and winds gusting up to 70 miles per hour. The storm left hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without power across the service territories of PSEG-LI, Con Edison, NYSEG and other utility providers. The storm also disrupted the regions’ telephone, cable, and internet services – services that are particularly essential for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outages and service disruptions lasted for multiple days in Pheffer Amato’s district which contains parts of South Queens and the Rockaway Peninsula. In some parts of the state, homes and businesses are still waiting to be reconnected. Pheffer Amato participated in the joint hearing to question the utility companies- specifically PSEG- about the usage of ‘microgrids’. Microgrids have their own internal power source that can be utilized with an overall power grid or on its own in cases of emergency such as a tropical storm, fire, or flooding.

“With the increased frequency of extreme weather due to intensifying climate change, utility companies must be prepared to be readily and effectively respond to emergencies,” Pheffer Amato said. “I look forward to working with these companies to evaluate the feasibility of microgrids in my district such that our communities- especially those who are most vulnerable on the coast like South Queens and Rockaway- are protected from future storms.”