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New York Launches Power-Monitoring Sensor Network

The New York Power Authority has kicked off the first phase of a sensor network that will allow the agency to monitor its power plants, substations and transmission lines across the state.

(TNS) — The New York Power Authority has 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 increase efficiency and productivity and improve resiliency of New York’s statewide public power network.

The initiative, highlighted in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State proposals, will help New York Power Authority (NYPA) transform its operations and electric grid infrastructure to become the nation’s first full-scale, all-digital utility, officials said. The statewide sensor deployment initiative also supports the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV4NY) strategy for building a statewide energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers.

“The Power Authority is taking the lead in deploying new technologies to modernize our state energy system and build the next generation utility,” said NYPA Board of Trustees Chairman John R. Koelmel. “These sensors will help us proactively predict potential problems so that we can reduce unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs, and minimize potential operational risks. These digital enhancements will help us keep our finger on the pulse of our power infrastructure so that we can continue to lead the way in meeting the needs of a 21st century sustainable, energy-driven economy.”

“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 C. 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.”

The sensor program builds on Cuomo’s opening in December 2017 of NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (ISOC), a cutting-edge digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center at NYPA’s headquarters in White Plains. 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 this robust, 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.

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 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.

New York State Senate Energy Chair Joseph Griffo said, “This initiative will help us to keep a better eye on the state’s public power network and has the potential to help us find and correct issues before they become problems. These sensors also will provide us with valuable information that can lead to a more efficient and productive power system.”

Assembly Energy Chair Michael J. Cusick said, “Having equipment sensors placed in statewide power systems will create a more efficient response to monitoring power equipment to obtain real-time analytics. This program, once fully implemented, will help save customers money and create a more productive response effort to maintain and monitor equipment before a serious failure can occur. The roll-out of this program demonstrates how our state is moving into the technology age to better serve our residents.”

©2018 the Niagara Gazette (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.