Long Island Lighting Company

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Long Island Lighting Company
Industry Electric Utility
Fate Electrical transmission network acquired by LIPA, electrical distribution system and natural gas operations merged with Brooklyn Union Gas to form KeySpan
Successor Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan
Founded Long Island, New York (1911) by Ellis Laurimore Phillips & George W. Olmsted
Defunct 1998
Headquarters Hicksville, New York, United States of America[1]
Key people
W. J. Catacosinos, Chairman & CEO,
J. T. Flynn, President & COO,
A. Nozzolillo, Sr. VP-Finance & CFO,
T. A. Babcock, Treasurer,
K. A. Marion, Corporate Secretary
Products Electrical & natural gas utility[1] in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties, on Long Island, New York[1]
Glenwood Landing power plant

The Long Island Lighting Company, or LILCO [ "lil-co" ], was an electrical power company and natural gas utility for the communities of Long Island, New York, serving 2.7 million people in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties.[1]

LILCO was the original power utility for Long Island from 1911 until 1998. It was founded by Ellis Laurimore Phillips, an engineer, and a group of New York City investors, including George W. Olmsted,[2] when they purchased four small electric companies in Amityville, Islip, Northport and Sayville.[3]

Hurricane Gloria hit Long Island on September 27, 1985, but power was not fully restored until October 8. The utility's poor response to the storm further eroded public confidence in LILCO's ability to handle an emergency and placed increased pressure to shutter the LILCO built Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. In an effort to show they were prepared for the event of a nuclear mishap at Shoreham, LILCO created a volunteer organization, staffed by Shoreham engineers and various staff from LILCO itself, named LERO (Local Emergency Response Organization) to provide assistance to the public.[4] In the end, in a political decision born from LILCO's inability to present a viable evacuation plan for Suffolk County in the event of an emergency at the plant, Shoreham was closed down after never having operated at more than minimum power for testing purposes. LILCO's assets were then bought by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), a public authority. [3]

On March 5, 1998, final Federal approval was received for LIPA to take over LILCO's electrical transmission network. The deal was completed later that year. The rest of LILCO, including its electrical distribution and natural gas businesses, merged with Brooklyn Union Gas to form KeySpan, which continued to run LILCO's old transmission network under contract with LIPA. KeySpan was taken over by National Grid USA in 2007. National Grid handed control of Long Island's electrical transmission system to New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group in 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Company profile at Business.com
  2. ^ "Long Island Lighting Co. Mortgage," New York Times (1857-Current file); 4 June 1911, pg. XX7; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003). Retrieved 30 March 2007.
  3. ^ a b Long Island Our Story, New York Newsday
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1983/12/18/nyregion/how-lilco-and-suffolk-view-plans-for-evacuation.html?pagewanted=all&mcubz=3

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