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Aging power grid could carry benefits to region

According to a new state report, there are increasing problems with New York State's power system.  

The recently-released mandated report says the state's power grid and increasing numbers of generating plants are getting old and the solutions are only on the drawing board.

This is at a time when low prices for natural gas are pushing coal-fired power plants out of business or threatening to do so and there isn't enough money going into transmission line replacement.

Mohammed Sahfruddin, an emeritus research professor at The University at Buffalo, says New York's Independent Systems Operator (ISO) has become important as coordinating electrical generation and transmission has become more difficult.

Sahfruddin says New York's ISO "are not only trying to balance the flow of electricity over the transmission lines, they are also involved in the buying and selling of power between the suppliers and consumers."

With a greater demand for power Downstate and lots of power Upstate, Sahfruddin says large electric consumers should be moving Upstate for ample electricity and lower operating costs.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.