Long Island Power Authority, commonly abbreviated as LIPA ("lie-pah"), is a municipal subdivision of the State of New York that owns the electric grid for most of Long Island and contracts with PSEG Long Island to operate the grid on its behalf. LIPA was originally created under the Long Island Power Act of 1985 to acquire the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO)'s assets and securities after the cancellation of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. LIPA acquired LILCO's transmission and distribution system in May 1998.
PSEG Long Island is a division of PSEG and has managed the LIPA electric grid under contract since January 1, 2014. Before that, LIPA's grid was run under its own brand name, though National Grid USA (previously Keyspan Energy) maintained LIPA's transmission and distribution system under a prior management contract that expired on December 31, 2013.
LIPA's Long Island retail electric system provides service to over 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA does not own or operate any generation plants or retail natural gas assets on Long Island, although many generation plants are under contract to LIPA to meet its power supply needs.
LIPA's Long Island transmission voltages are 345,000, 138,000 and 69,000 volts, subtransmission voltages are 33,000 and 23,000 volts, and distribution voltages are 13,200 and 4,160 volts.
Tom Falcone was appointed the CEO of LIPA in March 2016. David M. Daly is the current President and COO of PSEG Long Island, while Ralph V. Suozzi is the chairman of LIPA's Board of Trustees.
On January 24, 2007, then-Governor Eliot Spitzer announced that Kevin Law would replace Richard Kessel as Chairman of LIPA until the fall when a new Chairman would be named and Law would become Chief Executive Officer of LIPA. On October 8, 2007, Law took over as President and CEO. Kevin Law stepped down on September 1, 2010 in order to become the President of the Long Island Association.
LIPA and National Grid caught much media criticism in their response to Hurricane Sandy. As a result of criticism in the response to Sandy, numerous key people at LIPA resigned. Michael Hervey, COO of LIPA, resigned on November 13, 2012. Though it has not been officially confirmed whether these resignations were caused by the response to Sandy, Bruce Germano (VP of Customer Service) and X. Cristofer Damianos (Member of the Board of Trustees) resigned on November 27, 2012, and most importantly, LIPA chairman Howard Steinberg also resigned on November 30, 2012.
Protest against long island power authority officials after two weeks in the dark
Protest against long island power authority after two weeks without power
On December 15, 2011, LIPA selected Public Service Enterprise Group of New Jersey, the largest electric utility of that state, to take over management and operation of the electric grid from National Grid, starting in January 2014.
On January 9, 2013, New York governor Andrew Cuomo called for the privatization of LIPA in his State of the State speech. Even though the governor appoints five of the nine trustees to serve on the LIPA Board, he cited LIPA's inability to quickly recover from Hurricane Sandy among other incidents. In May, he announced a plan to give PSEG day-to-day operations of LIPA's electric grid under a management contract. The Long Island Power Authority is the owner of the system and holder of its debt. On July 29, 2013 the state legislature passed a law implementing Governor Cuomo's plan. On January 1, 2014 PSEG rebranded the LIPA system "PSEG Long Island", effectively removing the LIPA name from the public eye.