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Central Hudson launches new superconducting technology to reduce power outages caused by lightning, other surges

POUGHKEEPSIE – Central Hudson Gas and Electric has deployed a new technology that is aimed at helping to protect vital utility equipment from damage caused by damage from electrical faults. The device will also have the added potential to improve grid efficiency.         

Utility spokesman John Maserjian said the first superconducting fault current limiter was installed at Central Hudson’s Knapp Corners substation in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

“Full currents are power surges that occur when lightning strikes or a tree calls across a power line,” Maserjian said.  “This causes a short circuit in the system that sends a strong surge of electricity through the wires that could potentially damage substation equipment or even a customer’s equipment.”  

The total cost of this test project is $2.5 million, about half of which was funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.