Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched the “Fuel NY” initiative, an integrated solution to ensure that New Yorkers have access to gasoline in a severe storm or other major weather event. In fulfillment of a commitment made by the Governor in his 2013 State of the State address, the program was developed as a direct response to Superstorm Sandy, and includes the nation’s strongest back-up power requirements for gas stations in strategic locations.
As one step in a comprehensive initiative to protect the fuel supply chain in an emergency, “Fuel NY” will make up to $17 million in funding available to help retail gas stations improve their back-up power capacity so they can remain open during major storms.
The Fuel NY initiative should provide first responders, essential personnel, evacuating residents and other motorists with peace-of-mind knowing that gas stations have the necessary back-up power capacity to distribute gasoline and get things back to normal as quickly as possible after a major storm.
Additionally, a new website, nysandyhelp.ny.gov/fuel-ny, has been created to provide information for both gas station owners and motorists identifying which gas stations are required to participate in the program. The site will be updated regularly to show which stations are equipped with back-up power capacity.
Approximately half of all downstate gas stations in New York City, Long Island and Westchester and Rockland counties are now required to have back-up power in the event of an emergency.
- Stations within a half-mile of a highway exit or hurricane evacuation route in these downstate areas will need to be wired with a transfer switch by April 1, 2014. They must deploy and install a generator within 24 hours of losing power in an emergency.
- In addition, 30 percent of all retail outlets that are part of a chain further than half-mile from highway exits and evacuation routes in these downstate areas will be required to install a transfer switch by August 1, 2015. They must deploy and install a generator within 48 hours of losing power.
- All newly constructed gas stations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties for which a building permit is issued on or after April 1, 2014 will be required to have wiring to deploy a generator or have a back-up generator installed.
- Gas stations selling less than 75,000 gallons of fuel per month are exempt.
Gas station owners/operators can apply for up to $10,000 per station to help install a transfer switch that will accept a portable emergency generator and up to $13,000 per station if they elect to install a transfer switch and a permanent back-up generator. Stations that are part of a chain as defined in the program and that are not located within a half-mile of highway exits and evacuation routes can only receive up to $10,000. Funding will be paid only for actual eligible expenses upon receipt by NYSERDA of proper documentation that the installation is complete.
Gas stations can apply for the funding online. For help with the application process, station owners can call 1-855-323-3030 or send an email to GasStationGrants@nyserda.ny.gov.