Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Dean King

IMG_3572 (1)The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Dean King is an undergrad at Clarkson University, where he is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He currently works in the Electrical Maintenance Department at the Robert Moses Power Dam in Massena, NY.

Since starting my internship with NYPA, I have had the privilege to collaborate with and work alongside other engineers in the Electrical Maintenance team. In my first few weeks, I have been introduced to a field that is completely new to me and I am honored to have this opportunity to learn about power systems from such a reputable organization.

I have already had the opportunity to view most of the Robert Moses Power Dam and a few of the substations that are maintained by this facility. In my first few weeks, I have done work related to the most recent arc flash study, as well as take a deeper look into some of the relay systems here in the dam.

In the future, I hope to contribute to the NYPA team and prove myself as a valuable resource for both the Electrical Maintenance team and the Authority.

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Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Aaron D. White

photo1The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Aaron D. White attends SUNY Institute of Technology, working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He currently works in the Technical Services group at the Energy Control Center (ECC) at Clark Energy Center in Marcy, NY.

The focus of my work has been on the Energy Management System – the ECC is a 24/7/365 operation, dealing with scheduled and emergent equipment outages as they come in, most requiring immediate attention and intervention. This internship is truly fitting for me as I also work as a NYS EMT and deal with urgent matters at all hours of the day.

One of my first impressions of this impressive facility when arriving was the sheer importance of the ECC to coordinating the “dance” between generation and load of the Bulk Electric System of New York State. One of my tasks at the ECC has been reviewing and cross-checking transformer and line data, which has given me an understanding of the inner workings of the modeling of the electric system. This has allowed me to see how infrastructure and computer systems work together, as well as the problems that engineers face with managing both.

I have had the privilege of working with some incredible people that have taken time out of their busy schedule to share their vast knowledge of what is done here at the ECC, specifically Brent Blanchard and Chris Powers, as well as my supervisor Derrick Piper. In just the few short weeks I’ve been here, this internship has already increased my appreciation of the electric utility industry from an energy consumption perspective. I’ve also taken notice to things like the overhead BES transmission lines and where they are terminating as I am driving home. I look forward to my continued time here with NYPA and the ECC as I continue to learn and broaden my horizons in the power systems field.

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Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Nathanael Kankiewicz

Kankiewicz237pxThe New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization. This summer, more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students are participating in the intern program. Throughout the summer, we will feature individual profiles of our summer interns and provide a detailed look at their personal internship experiences.

Nathanael Kankiewicz attends SUNY Buffalo State, working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology with a focus on electronics and smart grid technology. He currently works in the Instrumentation & Controls unit within the Operations Group at the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, NY.

Every day in the Instrumentation & Controls Department is different. There are a variety of devices we install and monitor, and I have had the opportunity to visit locations besides the Lewiston plant to inspect our instruments. I have also been offered a chance to learn how to react and assess the situations surrounding a fault. Under the guidance of Jim Rankin and Daniel Ver, I have taken every chance I can get to absorb the information this experience offers.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been updating our satellite clock distribution network for protective devices. The goal of this work is to set up the infrastructure for their synchronization. This will allow for greater accuracy in our data collection and evaluation of events, both in testing and in regular operation.

My most recent work involved researching component information, and contacting manufacturers about items that need to be ordered. This work will continue with the writing of purchasing requests for the system I am currently designing.

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Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Sharika Chowdhury


The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization. This summer, more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students are participating in the intern program. Throughout the summer we will feature individual profiles of our summer interns and provide a detailed look at their personal internship experiences.

Sharika Chowdhury attends NYU Polytech, pursuing a degree in Information Technology, specifically in Electricial Engineering. Sharika works in Operations and Support Services Unit at the Poletti Plant in Queens, NY.

My first week of interning at NYPA has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. In my short time here, I have already expanded my horizons by gaining valuable knowledge and an understanding of power systems in a medium unparalleled elsewhere.

I had the privilege of visiting the 500-MW Combined-Cycle Power Plant, which gave unique insight and greater comprehension of the technologies and processes involved in power generation and transmission. I have gained an appreciation of how NYPA generates the power needed to service New York City residents. Additionally, I learned of the various projects NYPA is working on and the vital role meter engineers play in the success of these projects.

Moving forward, I look to be a valuable contributor to NYPA through diligently expanding my knowledge base and working alongside NYPA professionals. I appreciate this opportunity and I thank my supervisor, Frank Ronci, for his guidance and support, ensuring my success at NYPA.

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NYPA Initiatives, NYPA Staff

30% of Utility Workers Retiring in 5 Years, New Recruiting Strategies Essential

By Gil C. Quiniones

On June 16th, I’m joining Con Edison Chairman and CEO John McAvoy, NY Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of NYSERDA, John Rhodes, NY Green Bank President Alfred Griffin and Ken Daly, President of National Grid to discuss New York’s energy policies and challenges and opportunities facing electric utilities at New York Energy Week. I’m sure there will a lot of talk about distributive generation, smart grids, regulations, and IT solutions. But as the head of the nation’s largest state-owned public power utility, with roughly 1,700 employees, I want to make sure that we have a meaningful dialogue about how our industry is going to address recruitment, employee engagement, and diversity.

Here’s an interesting fact: over 30% of utility employees are within five years of retirement. For decades, the energy industry benefited from a remarkably stable workforce. People entered the industry and stayed…and stayed. At the moment, one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is a wave of retirements, and then, attracting, motivating, and training their replacements. It’s time to re-think the way our industry has recruited and retained employees. We want the incoming generation of employees to be able to adapt as fast as technology demands.

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So far, we’ve seen increased turnover, particularly among engineers and other employees with specialized skills that are in high demand in every industry. When roughly 36% of the U.S. workforce is comprised of millennials, who are no longer seeking or expecting employment at one organization for their entire careers, we are looking at a huge cultural shift in the energy industry. We need to prepare ourselves for continued attrition by developing tools that will capture some of this knowledge as future employees leave after only a few years instead of a few decades.

We might debate about the speed and magnitude of change, but change is coming. Every energy sector is looking for ways to innovate and better integrate technology into their existing operations. To be clear, we cannot build a 21st century energy industry without a highly-skilled, motivated, and diverse work force. That’s why we’re developing more accurate ways at NYPA to project our future skills requirements, broaden our succession planning, and offer more training opportunities.

So, as an industry, we need to start figuring out ways to reinvent and reimagine the cultural paradigms we currently operate under in the energy industry – while providing the best value and outcome for our customers.

On June 16th, NYPA President Gil Quinones will speak at the NY Energy Week Opening Ceremony: An Address from the State. EnerKnol created New York Energy Week based on the company’s founding mission to fuel industry investment through information access and collaboration across all sectors of the diverse, and often fragmented, energy industry. For more information, visit www.nyenergyweek.com and http://www.energysolutionsforum.com/enerknol/.

Gil C. Quiniones (@GQEnergy) is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority. Quiniones has served as Senior Vice President of Energy and Telecommunications for the New York City Economic Development Corporation during the Bloomberg Administration, and worked for Con Edison for 16 years.

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