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National Grid Hosts Conference that is Expected to Pump $2.5 Million into Rhode Island Economy

Four-Day Industry Event Attracting International Attendance

Providence, R.I. – More than 1,500 engineers and corporate executives from across the United States and an estimated 35 countries are expected to attend a National Grid-hosted conference in Providence, RI May 16 - 19. Global ESMO 2011 is the premier event for electric utility industry professionals and others involved in the operation of the world’s power delivery systems. The conference is being sponsored by the Power & Energy Society (PES) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The conference is known as the 2011 Engineering in the Safety, Maintenance and Operation of electrical lines program, or ESMO.

“This is truly an international event and one of the most important professional conferences in the electric utility industry,” said Christopher E. Root, National Grid’s senior vice president, Network Strategy. “For these four days the City of Providence, the state of Rhode Island and National Grid will be hosting the most influential leaders of our industry.”

The event is expected to infuse approximately $2.5 million in direct spending into the Rhode Island economy.

“This conference will provide revenue to Rhode Islanders and significant tax revenue for the state,” said Timothy F. Horan, president, National Grid Rhode Island. “National Grid is committed to making this conference a success.”

Providence joins Montreal, Canada; Orlando, FL and Las Vegas, NV as recent host cities.

“On behalf of Rhode Island’s hospitality community we are thrilled to welcome IEEE and PES members to our state,” said Martha J. Sheridan President and CEO, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This event will bring huge economic benefits to the area in the form of occupied hotel rooms, restaurant patronage, transportation usage and other related expenditures. But beyond the important economic gains, this convention will expose Rhode Island and its many great assets to delegates from around the world. We thank National Grid for its extraordinary efforts in hosting this prestigious group.”

The conference meetings, scholarly presentations, exhibits and social events will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Presentations and discussions will cover the latest innovations in technology, engineering, safety and construction techniques. National Grid is also sponsoring two days of outdoor exhibits and demonstrations including working on live power and the use of helicopters in high voltage power line installation at the Quonset Industrial Park in North Kingstown. The Convention Center and Quonset events are open to registered conference attendees only. A specially scheduled Waterfire will be held in Providence on the evening of May 18 and is open to the public.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.