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New York’s petrol stations to add backup power

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 09:32 -- Tildy Bayar
New York’s petrol stations to add backup power

Around 250 petrol stations in upstate New York, US are to receive federal funding to purchase emergency backup power capacity.


The funding was approved as part of the state budget.


Grants from NYSERDA, the state’s energy and development authority, will give participating petrol stations either $10,000 to offset the cost of a transfer switch to connect portable generators in times of need, or $13,000 toward the cost of both a transfer switch and permanent generator.


An additional $3.1m will be made available through federal funding related to Superstorm Sandy.


According to the state a list of petrol stations eligible for the scheme is still in the works, but it will likely include about 250 stations.


In 2013 New York passed the Fuel NY initiative, which required most petrol stations in the heavily populated downstate areas of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland counties to install backup power systems by 1 April, 2014 and to deploy and install a generator within 24 hours of losing power during a fuel supply or energy emergency. The move came after 2012’s Hurricane Sandy caused significant fuel shortages in the NYC area.


This year’s state budget creates an additional voluntary backup power scheme for petrol stations in the more rural upstate region if they are within one half-mile of a highway exit or a hurricane evacuation route. Petrol stations can opt into the scheme until October 2015.  


James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, said, “This plan will provide incentives to gas stations on or within a half mile of exits of interstate highways to voluntarily equip their facilities to remain capable of pumping fuel in the event of a prolonged power outage.”


New York is the first US state to make such a strategy into law.