CEO, New York Power Authority
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What is the 20/20 Strategic Refresh?
Gil Quiniones: Back in 2014, at NYPA, we decided to put together a strategic plan. We called it "NYPA 2020," meaning what should NYPA be in 2020? Today, you know we're in 2016, or 2017. It's like half time in a football game.
This is the natural time to make mid-game adjustments and look back to take stock of where we are and where we're going. We've made those adjustments, so we're calling that refresh - or refreshing.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Is it significant? How big a difference is it?
Gil Quiniones: We think that the strategy is still sound, and our game plan is still sound. Now we need to take into account what has happened over the past few years.
Technology certainly is moving a lot faster than what we had anticipated. We're making tweaks on that part. Customer preferences and choices are different than even just three or four years ago.
We decided, for example, in this refresh of our strategic plan, that we are really going to put the customer in the middle of this transformation, and in the middle of our strategy.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: A digital utility. Is that what you mean by technology?
Gil Quiniones: Part of it. Fundamentally, we believe that to realize the goals, realize the objectives that we have in our strategy. Digitization must be the key enabler and catalyst to achieve our goals. We have decided to make NYPA the first end-to-end, all-digital utility.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What does that mean?
Gil Quiniones: It really means that we are focused on digitizing everything that we do. It means our assets. We are going to be creating digital twins of our power plants and transmission, our substations.
It means reaching our customers, customer buildings, and customer facilities, by putting in sensors, smart meters, and other data acquisition devices. It means doing data analytics to be able to increase productivity or to create new value-added services for our customers.
We are also doing it internally. We are going to be digitizing the NYPA Enterprise. That includes all the support functions, whether it's finance, procurement, supply chain, or HR. All the way to the workforce.
We have this term. We call it "digital enabled workforce." We're looking at wearables. We are looking at augmented reality to help our workers out in the field. And at other digital tools to make them more effective and efficient.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Sounds like the NYPA in 2025 will be a lot different than in 2015. Give me a feel for how different. What's the benefit to the state, and to customers?
Gil Quiniones: First, to customers. We want to be the trusted energy advisor of our customers. To be able to do that, we need to understand our customers really well - how they use energy, how they experience energy.
We need to predict, in fact, what they want energy for, to drive success in their business. We have a motto, that says we are going to be successful if we're driving success to our customers.
For the state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has instituted a couple of bold policies. Reforming the energy vision and our clean energy standard - those mean that we want fifty percent of our supply of electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030.
We want to reduce our greenhouse gases forty percent by 2030 and improve energy efficiency in our building stock twenty-three percent by 2030. Those are very aggressive but achievable goals. Those goals, when we meet them, will change the energy landscape here in New York.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: You're the top guy. How are you driving all this?
Gil Quiniones: Somebody told me that this is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. The transformation has to be full and organic. It has to be in our DNA.
One of the things that we're going to be doing here in the power authority is do exactly what our partner did with their company, General Electric, GE. They created a transformation process called "Fast Works."
If you recall, GE is known as the Six Sigma company, with their training center in Crotonville, just a few miles away from here in White Plains.
A few years ago, they instituted a new paradigm called "Fast Works." How do you move in a more agile way, integrate design thinking and lean principles into your operation? We're going to be doing the same thing.
We are partnering with GE, based on their experience. Bringing their experts here. We are going to be using their Crotonville facility to institute "Fast Works" all across the New York Power Authority.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What's the payoff for all this? Why is this great for customers?
Gil Quiniones: We still want to have the best deal. We want to have the best deal in terms of electricity supply and commodity management services in the state of New York. We want to attract and retain businesses here in New York.
We want to have businesses that will create jobs and make capital investments in this state. That's a big mission of the power authority.
Second, we want to create value added services. We want services that our customers value. We want them to look at NYPA as their trusted advisor. Those are the kind of things that drive this transformation we're calling NYPA 2020.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What does the CEO of NYPA do on an average day?
Gil Quiniones: I drive to work so I usually get some of my early phone calls done during my drive from Manhattan to White Plains. I usually have a set one-to two-week schedule.
I try and spend a lot of time out of the office going to our facilities, going to our power plants, and our transmission system. Now we own the New York state canal systems, so that's a new asset that is under management and operation of NYPA. Nothing beats pressing flesh with your employees and trying to make sure that we're executing our plan and following our playbook.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: NYPA has an amazing and historic collection of plants and dams and transmission substations. Give me a couple of examples.
Gil Quiniones: We have fantastic assets. We have the Niagara Power Project. It's twenty-seven hundred megawatts of hydropower, combination hydro and pump storage.
While it's the fifth largest hydro in terms of nameplate capacity, it is the second place in terms of production of energy because we have a great, consistent supply of water.
It's a very critical asset, not only in New York state but in the Northeast. We have large hydro, St. Lawrence-FDR along the St. Lawrence River.
We have a big pump hydro in the middle of the state called Blenheim-Gilboa, twelve hundred megawatts. We have a variety of fossil assets, natural gas power plants in New York City and Long Island, both combined cycle and peak.
We have small hydro along the New York state canals. And all kinds of transmission, fourteen hundred circuit miles of transmission from 115kV all the way to 765 kV.
All the connections and interfaces to Canada, both to Quebec and Ontario, are owned by NYPA. It's a dynamic system. It's a great set of assets. It's critical to the power system in New York state.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What's the most fun thing in your job?
Gil Quiniones: It's a couple of things. The most fun is when I see our employees achieve the milestones in the strategic plan that we put forth. We really celebrate. We try and celebrate those wins along the way. We celebrate that they're able to think outside the box and achieve what, probably initially seemed not achievable.
The second thing is seeing our customers succeed. We have customers here who are receiving both electricity supply and energy efficiency related services, and they're able to expand in New York because of the services that we provide.
They're able to hire more people. They're able to invest in another line of machine, or another production line. That has a big impact, a multiplier effect in the communities all across New York.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: How did you get to this point in your career?
Gil Quiniones: I say to all those young people and I've said this before. It's cool to work at the Power Authority. We're doing a lot of cool stuff here. It's very high tech. It's digital.
It's very Silicon Valley, if you really delve into the various activities that we do here. We're a public utility. Our mission is for the benefit of the public, for the benefit of New Yorkers. It's a great place to work.
I used to work at Con Edison, the local utility here in New York City. I was fortunate enough to work under Mayor Bloomberg after that. Then I came here for the state of New York. It's been great.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Where do you want to drive this utility in the next three to six years?
Gil Quiniones: We want to be, by far, the utility that gives the best deal in terms of electric supply and related commodity management services. I want NYPA to be the market leader in energy efficiency, and energy value added services.
I want us to be leading in the development of large scale renewables and transmission and grid scale storage here in the state. We want to play a big role in spurring electric vehicle infrastructure and electric vehicle adoption in New York state. Those are the four things that I would like to see over the next three to five years.
2020 Strategic Refresh:
- Gil Quiniones, CEO, New York Power Authority
- Robert Lurie, CFO & Chief Strategy Officer
- Emilie Bolduc, VP, New York Energy Manager
- Ricardo DaSilva, VP, Strategic Operations
- Doug McMahon, VP, Strategy