The Long Island Lighting Company, or LILCO [ "lil-co" ], was an electrical power company and natural gas utility for the communities of Long Island, New York, serving 2.7 million people in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties.
LILCO was the original power utility for Long Island from 1911 until 1998. It was founded by Ellis Laurimore Phillips, an engineer, and a group of New York City investors, including George W. Olmsted, when they purchased four small electric companies in Amityville, Islip, Northport and Sayville.
LILCO built the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. In the end, in a political decision, the plant operated only briefly and then was closed down and bought by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), a public authority.
Hurricane Gloria hit Long Island on September 27, 1985, but power was not fully restored until October 8. The bitterness from the delays in restoring power helped bring down the Shoreham Plant and eventually helped force the sale of the company.
On March 5, 1998, final Federal approval was received for LIPA to take over LILCO's electrical transmission network. The deal was completed later that year. The rest of LILCO merged with Brooklyn Union Gas to form KeySpan, which continued to run its former transmission network under contract with LIPA. KeySpan was taken over by National Grid USA in 2007. National Grid handed control of Long Island's electrical transmission system to New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group in 2014.