PSEG Long Island’s plan to deploy an entirely new storm computer management system has been pushed back to December or even later, top officials said at a LIPA board meeting Friday.
A PSEG official noted there was “some risk” that even a December deadline could be missed.
Separately during the same board meeting, LIPA acting chairman Mark Fischl also issued PSEG an ultimatum to conclude long-delayed negotiations for a new contract.
PSEG Long Island president Dan Eichhorn called next Friday “our drop-dead date” for finalizing a new contract that has been delayed for months, adding there was “a humongous sense of urgency” to meet that deadline.
But his promises drew wary responses from LIPA board members. “If we don’t get this done in November, we’re going to be looking for other alternatives,” said Fischl, suggesting LIPA could rekindle a previous effort to find other third-party contractors or even go fully public.
“This has just been going on for way too long,” Fischl said, referring to previous plans to finalize a contract in August.
“You say there’s a sense of urgency but we have not seen that,” added trustee Alfred Cockfield.
Trustees also expressed wariness over PSEG’s shifting schedules to deploy the new storm outage-management computer system.
PSEG Long Island is one of only two utilities in the nation using an obsolete version of the system, for which ratepayers are spending over $3 million a month to repair and ultimately replace. A newer version of the system, an iteration of which had been in place during the storm, was supposed to be rebuilt and back in place in the spring. But that was pushed back until after storm season this fall, leaving PSEG still using the old system.
In a report to trustees, LIPA noted that PSEG, in relying on an older version of the computer system, still has “not focused on identifying the root causes