Smart Grid

NYPA board OKs funding for first phase of sensor deployment effort

The New York Power Authority on April 12 announced the first phase of a multi-phase sensor deployment program that will incorporate new technologies to perform online monitoring of power plants, substations and power lines to boost efficiency and productivity and improve resiliency of New York’s statewide public power network.

At its recent meeting, NYPA’s Board of Trustees approved capital expenditures in the amount of $9.3 million in support of the first phase of the sensor deployment program, which ultimately is a multi-phase program with a total estimated cost of $55 million.

The initiative, which was highlighted in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State proposals, will help NYPA transform its operations and electric grid infrastructure to become the nation’s first full-scale, all-digital utility, NYPA said.

The statewide sensor deployment initiative also supports the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. REV involves a shift away from the traditional utility model of centralized generation toward a more decentralized electric grid that relies increasingly on energy efficiency, demand resources and distributed generation.

The installation work, which begins this spring, is estimated to take approximately 4-5 years. The goal of the program is to implement a robust, secure and scalable sensor communications network in support of NYPA’s Vision 2020 Smart Generation and Transmission strategic initiative.

“As the fundamental operating model of our nation’s utility system undergoes a dramatic transformation into the digital age, New York’s public utility intends to lead the pace,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “These sensors will help NYPA take advantage of advanced data analytics to make smart and efficient operating decisions which will allow us to continue providing low-cost, reliable power to our customers throughout the state day-in and day-out.”

Sensor program builds on opening of Integrated Smart Operations Center

The sensor program builds on Cuomo’s announcing the opening in December 2017 of NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (ISOC), a digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center at NYPA’s headquarters in White Plains, N.Y.

As part of the sensor deployment program, NYPA will install sensors on equipment throughout its statewide network of 16 power plants and 1,400 miles of transmission lines, including on such equipment as transformers, reactors, turbines, generators, breakers, battery banks, cables, and capacitors.

The sensor system will feed information such as temperature, power loads, vibrations, pressure, emissions, and moisture into the ISOC hub in near real-time.

NYPA already has sensors feeding approximately 26,000 points of data to the ISOC from across its power system.

With the addition of 50,000 sensors installed through the new sensor deployment program, NYPA aims to have a total of 75,000 points of data or more feeding into the ISOC by the conclusion of this program.