Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Michael Kirschenheiter

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.

Michael Kirschenheiter is a senior at SUNY Buffalo pursuing his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He works in the Mechanical Maintenance Engineering Department at the Niagara Power Project.

The focus of my work at NYPA is to support plant operation and maintenance. This includes designing, planning, setting up work orders, submitting purchase requisitions and working with various engineering or technician outfits to achieve a common goal.

I am currently working on many HVAC projects such as redesigning existing pipe supports and designing a pipe structure for an existing oil-water regulator so that it will adhere to OSHA’s changing safety regulations. These tasks are fitting because I have prior experience as a plumber and HVAC technician; I am now able to design systems that I once installed.

These current projects give me a new perspective on the project that I’ve worked on in the past, not only from a design standpoint but also from a logistical perspective: all the design, material, and labor has to come together at a single time from multiple sources to achieve a singular goal. It is a rewarding experience working with engineers, technicians, vendors, suppliers, and outside firms to see a project completed from start to finish. Having the logistical capability to gather all the required information before a project begins is often very difficult and is not something taught in class.

The Niagara Power Project is an expansive engineering marvel and there is still much for me to learn, as my internship has only just begun. I look forward to the remainder of the internship and the remaining guidance the fellow engineers and NYPA staff can give me.

Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Tim White

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.

Tim White is a senior at SUNY Buffalo State University pursuing his degree in Industrial Technology. He works in the Transmission Department at the Massena Substation.

As an intern, I am faced with many exciting and challenging tasks. In the Transmission Department, our goal is to oversee the transmission of the electrical current generated from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project. Whether through having me help plan a new structural design or simply maintaining our current assets, my coworkers have allowed me to play a key role in everyday objectives. I am currently tasked with inspecting different distribution and transmission lines to create documentation that will eventually be referenced by all of NYPA.

Day one of a job can be very nerve-racking. You are entering a completely new atmosphere with a certain amount of pressure on yourself to succeed. Thankfully, everyone here in Transmission has been very welcoming; I have found my coworkers to be very knowledgeable and helpful, even throughout my constant bombardment of questions. I would like to give a special thanks to my mentor Jordi Parisian for guiding me in my quest to become an engineer.

Having grown up in the North Country, I am an avid fan of everything outdoors, such as fishing year-round and being anywhere near water all summer. But my biggest passion lies in the bitterly cold months of winter – snowmobiling has provided me with some of my earliest memories and will always remain my favorite hobby.

Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Kylee Hansan

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.

Kylee Hansan is a junior at Pennsylvania State University pursuing her degree in Energy Engineering with a minor in Energy Business & Finance. She works in Customer Energy Solutions at the White Plains Office.

As an intern in the Advanced Infrastructure group, one of the projects I am working on is the Electric Transportation program. For this project, I have been comparing charging station data between NYPA’s database and the PlugShare website.

I am also working on NYPA’s K-Solar Program. K-Solar is a joint program between NYPA and NYSERDA that makes it easier and more affordable for schools to utilize solar power. K-Solar is extremely exciting because it is the largest multi-agency solar program in the country and the first of its kind. I have been organizing the data that we received from schools in order to make it easier for our solar developers to use. I have also been updating the information on the K-Solar website.

When I first came to NYPA my goal was to leave with a general understanding of the solar industry. After being here for just three weeks, I have already accomplished this goal. Over the last few weeks I have learned not only about the industry in general, but also about the importance of grid interconnection and communication. I look forward to learning even more about solar energy over the course of my internship.

In my free time, I like to play volleyball and golf.

Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: James Oddy

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.

James Oddy is a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology pursuing his degree in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Environmental Studies. He works in the Operations Technology department at the Niagara Power Project.

Prior to coming to NYPA, I had not been exposed to networking systems of the Niagara Power Project’s extent and saw an opportunity to learn more about Real-Time Systems. The past couple of weeks here have been a great experience, and I have seen a lot of the Niagara Power Project’s main facilities. I am still being introduced to many of the electrical structures within the plants and how these structures come together to drive the facilities’ networks and electrical systems.

I have been able to see many of the major components that make up Niagara’s facilities and inner workings. I have visited the Lewiston Pump Generation Plant, the Robert Moses Power Plant, the Switch Yard, the Warehouse, and the Power Vista. Within each plant, I was able to see much of the equipment in use, such as the turbine, the exciter, the stator, the wicket gates, and the Remote Terminal Unit, which controls the other units through SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). I also had the privilege to visit the operator’s room to learn how the system I’ll be working on contributes to this work.

This summer, I will be working primarily inside the SCADA room and dealing with the VDS (Video Display System), DACS (Data and Acquisition Control System), and SCADA systems, each of which contributes considerably to the overall networking and controls of the plant’s operations. I have been provided with great mentors and have already learned a lot. I can tell that I will have a very valuable experience working here.

Outside of school and work, my main interests are outdoor activities. In the winter, I am an avid skier and snowboarder, while in the summer, I enjoy water skiing and wakeboarding. I am also a musician and play many sports, including golf, tennis, and baseball.

Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Charlotte Goldman

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.

Charlotte Goldman is a student at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing her degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. She currently works in the Corporate Communications Department at the White Plains Office.

This summer, I am working with the Sustainability Office to come up with a comprehensive plan for reducing office and industrial waste at each of the NYPA facilities. In order to formulate ideas on how to reduce waste, I am researching materials in various waste streams and analyzing the solid waste management practices at each site. My research will contribute to NYPA’s efforts to achieve the standards put in place by Executive Order 4, which advocates for a more sustainable work environment.

Before interning at NYPA, I was unaware of how many different departments are involved in helping NYPA succeed as a business. Employees come from all different backgrounds and possess an array of skills that contribute to NYPA’s operations. This diversity makes interning at NYPA a true learning experience that will help me in the future as I look to continue a career in the energy industry.

Outside of school, I enjoy traveling to new places and learning from the people I meet along the way. Next year, I will be studying Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics. During my year abroad, I look forward to gaining more knowledge about Environmental Economics and meeting new students with similar interests.

Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Blake Kane

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.

Blake Kane is a Senior at SUNY Buffalo pursuing his degree in Architecture and Planning. He works in the Project Management Department at the Niagara Power Project.

I have been working at NYPA for two weeks now and have already had some incredible experiences. My daily responsibilities include checking in on current jobs, assisting with daily reports, reviewing drawing sets and providing input on technical detail and site measurements. The projects I am currently involved with are the Power Vista Visitor Center elevator addition and the reconstruction of the Niagara Falls Historical Chimney. I have also helped with many of the LEM development projects for the Niagara Power Plant.

Marek Kobialka has allowed me to follow a majority of his projects and has helped me meet many of my goals. I am most excited to work with Marek on the Power Vista Visitor Center addition. I feel it will give me a greater knowledge of the technical aspects of the construction process and the original design standards introduced by Daniel Chait, the Center’s original architect. One thing that I have already learned from my time here is that the need for communication, clarity of work, and strong knowledge of one’s profession all play key roles in advancing any project. I have noted these qualities while shadowing other professionals in conferences and site meetings.

NYPA will provide me with hands-on experience in the Project Management field that will give me a broader understanding of the design and construction processes. This knowledge will help me reach my career goal of obtaining my license in architecture.

Outside of school and work, I participate in a program called Challenger Baseball. This program helps children and adults with disabilities to learn and play baseball.

Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Peter Kalicki

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.

Peter Kalicki is a sophomore at Columbia University planning to major in Political Science and Economics. He works in the Corporate Communications Department at the White Plains Office.

Within the Corporate Communications Department, I have been working closely with the Sustainability Office to analyze waste management at NYPA facilities and brainstorm methods to reduce waste. We hope to cut down on both industrial waste, which includes unused construction and production material at the NYPA plants, and employee waste, which can come from actions as minor as improper recycling habits. Our long-term goal is to perform an in-depth analysis of waste management at one facility and to implement an employee engagement program to address it. I am also assisting with various other projects in Corporate Communications, such as organizing and editing the Summer Intern Series with the Digital Office.

My time at NYPA so far has been extremely rewarding and informative. Something I wish I knew about NYPA before coming here is that it’s an incredibly friendly environment; everyone whom I’ve met here has been very kind and helpful. I hope to take advantage of this atmosphere to learn more about different departments and how they collaborate.

Outside of academics and work, I enjoy running, playing the piano, and exploring Manhattan. My favorite restaurant in the city is John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street.

NYPA Initiatives

Top 3 Ways We’re Using Technology for the #SmartGrid

New York is currently at a point where we’re not just talking about the electric grid; we are taking a series of steps to create the smart grid – a cornerstone of the New York Power Authority’s Strategic Vision 2020.

NYPA is proud to be at the forefront of an energy revolution. We know that people crave connectivity – using mobile apps for changing the temperature, dimming the lights and controlling their electricity use. Here are the top 3 ways we are redesigning the electrical grid and preparing to help meet the state’s energy needs over the next few decades.

Infrastructure Modernization

Our glimpse into the future is guided by a critical question: What is the changing role of energy infrastructure—the central generating stations and transmission facilities—in the energy system of the future, and what does that mean for NYPA’s role as stewards of those assets?

Emerging technologies and techniques suggest that there is now an opportunity to be more innovative and sophisticated about how we operate and maintain our generation and transmission facilities. We believe that a combination of our Asset Management and Smart Generation and Transmission strategic initiatives will enable our staff to identify better ways to operate and maintain our assets to deliver optimal outcomes for customers in the dynamic environment ahead. We aspire to lead in these areas; to explore options and find solutions that can be shared with other utilities to improve services to customers throughout New York State.

New York Energy Manager

New York Energy Manager (NYEM) is NYPA’s web-based energy management platform. It will provide secure, consistent, comprehensive energy data reporting and smart analytical tools to support energy savings initiatives in State buildings. NYEM is designed to integrate energy data from utilities, sub-meters and building management systems and delivers this information in a non-proprietary Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

NYEM is supported by energy experts in NYPA’s offices that deliver timely and actionable guidance to building operators. The platform will also encourage data sharing, enabling an array of complementary third party applications to take advantage of the energy data and provide users with a large variety of tools and applications.


The Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe) is New York’s first electric power research and development facility. It will use Big Data analytics to simulate, develop, deploy and integrate the next-generation electric grid and position New York State as a global center for electric grid research. It is one of four strategic recommendations of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Highway Task Force and supports the “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV).

The lab itself will be built and operated by the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) in Albany. Some benefits of AGILe include:
o Helping transmission and distribution operators find ways to reduce system strain during peak use
o Reducing the cost of transmission and distribution congestion by increasing access to lower-cost generating resources
o Expediting the integration of renewable energy resources into the grid
o Advancing the deployment and reducing the cost of new, small, clean generation
o Increasing access to sustainable green power resources throughout New York State