Innovation Lab to Develop Next-Gen Electric Grid in New York

The Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy will simulate, develop, test and deploy a more integrated grid.

by / March 26, 2015

In a move toward energy technology innovation and rapid deployment of smart-grid tech in New  York -- ulimately modernizing the state’s electric grid -- the New York Power Authority and SUNY Polytechnic Institute have signed an agreement to create the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), which will simulate, develop, test and deploy a more integrated grid. 

“The electric utility system is undergoing a revolutionary change," Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said in a press release, "and this facility will place New York squarely at the vanguard of this transformation.”

Investing in smart-grid tech research and development, he added, will ensure that "sophisticated energy solutions are leveraged to harden electric infrastructure against physical and cyberthreats, improve the efficient operation of the grid, and accelerate the use of renewable energy resources."

Before newer electrical system technologies, such as advanced transmission system monitoring sensors, increasing electric vehicle stations and microgrids, can be deployed, they must be tested in an advanced laboratory setting -- something AGILe will provide.

By simulating the impact of expected changes to the grid, researchers can better understand the impacts and design system improvements to accommodate these emerging techs and improve real-time operations, according to the press release. These simulations can lower grid improvement costs and ultimately help officials to better respond to conditions that could threaten power reliability and quality.

Researchers at the lab also will develop analytical tools so utilities can readily convert data from grid sensors, and rapidly respond to challenges or threats to the grid.

“By building a world-class research and development facility that is focused on improving New York’s energy infrastructure," Cuomo said in the press release, "we are making a major investment in our state’s future."