Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

New York to spend $173m modernising power grid

Steve Rogerson
October 16, 2018



The New York Power Authority is spending $173m to modernise the state’s power grid. Sensors will report grid problems in near real time to improve reliability.
 
The project will help NYPA collect data more quickly and accurately, and allow for a faster response time to outages and other power grid issues.
 
"Modernising New York's public power grid is a smart investment towards creating a more resilient and affordable system across the state," said New York governor Andrew Cuomo. "This funding is critical to ensuring that New York is prepared to withstand increasingly common extreme weather events that threaten our power system, and continues New York's commitment as a leader in a clean energy economy."
 
There are two programmes. NYPA trustees have authorised $95.7m for the authority's sensor deployment programme and an additional $77.5m for its communications backbone programme. Both support Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for creating a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.
 
In addition to advancing the state's energy plan, the work should increase grid resiliency and deliver value to consumers in the near term while supporting the power authority's Vision 2020 strategy to become the first, end-to-end digital utility in the USA.
 
"This significant investment in our transmission system will upgrade the state's power grid, making it more advanced and efficient," said lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul. "We want to ensure that our power system is smarter and more resilient so we are prepared when extreme weather strikes. Modernising our infrastructure and electric grid further advances our aggressive efforts to reach our clean energy goals for a cleaner and safer New York."
 
The sensor deployment programme will let the power authority measure up to 117,000 new data points across its generation and transmission system by 2019, improving NYPA's monitoring capabilities and ability to pre-empt maintenance and service issues. NYPA trustees approved the use of the $95.7m for the second phase of the programme that will focus on placing new sensors on generator turbines, circuit breakers, cable systems and battery banks, and connect the sensors to NYPA's ISOC integrated smart operations centre in White Plains. 
 
As part of the $95.7m, NYPA trustees ratified a five-year, $76.2m contract to a statewide consortium of engineering firms – E-J O'Connell Sensor Deployment Joint Venture of Long Island City – to design, build and install new sensors and associated networking across NYPA facilities. The remaining portion of the sensor deployment funding will support sensor procurement, installation and commissioning, as well as overall project management. The funding represents an expansion of the original scope of the programme to include additional sensors for NYPA's generation and transmission assets.
 
The communications backbone programme, receiving $77.5m through this board action, aims to create a robust, secure and scalable communications network to replace NYPA's legacy technology and manage data originating from NYPA facilities and equipment. The board's funding reflects an expansion on the original scope of the optical ground wire portion of the statewide project.
 
In addition to other types of communications networks, the expanded project encompasses an additional 885km of new optical ground wire installations on existing transmission towers in central, northern and western New York. Ultimately, this investment will lead to a nearly 1125km optical ground wire installation by 2021.
 
When completed, the communications backbone programme will allow NYPA to be less reliant on third-party carriers and provide more flexibility to deliver and expand services.
 
"This work is an integral part of NYPA's strategic initiative to build and maintain a smart generation and transmission system," said NYPA CEO and president Gil Quiniones. "These projects provide an exciting opportunity to achieve NYPA's digital transformation goals as soon as possible so that we can better serve the state of New York with an industry-leading electric system."
 
NYPA owns and operates approximately one-third of New York's high-voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA's three large hydroelectric generation facilities and wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7000MW of renewable energy to New York State's power grid. This includes connecting more than 6200MW of hydroelectric power and about 700MW, or more than a third, of New York State-generated wind energy to the grid.
 
Reforming the Energy Vision is Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy by stimulating investment in clean technologies such as solar, wind and energy efficiency and generating half of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, it has driven a nearly 800 per cent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering and other clean tech sectors.
 
Faraday is to provide its multichannel data-driven customer targeting tools and consulting services to contractors participating in New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) programmes based on its artificial intelligence platform and experience in clean energy.
 
The platform lets contractors analyse key geographies and households likely to implement energy efficiency improvements. The targeting tool will first be used to support NYSERDA's recently announced clean heating and cooling community campaigns. Eventually, Faraday plans to make it available to all installers, distributors and manufacturers.