NYPA Smart Grid Demonstration Project Awareded department of energy funding:
New Instrumentation
and Software to Help Integrate Additional Amounts of Wind Power on Transmission Lines

Michael Saltzman

November 30, 2009


WHITE PLAINS—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced that NYPA has been awarded $720,000 in federal stimulus funding by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a “smart grid” demonstration project that will help it to integrate additional amounts of available wind power on three of its overhead transmission lines in Northern New York.

“We’re very pleased that NYPA has been awarded a Smart Grid Regional Demonstration grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Kessel said. “The grant will allow us to study how we can increase the ability of NYPA’s transmission system to deliver wind-generated power more efficiently, which is part of our effort to achieve Governor Paterson’s goal of having 30 percent of the state’s power supply derived from renewable energy resources by 2015.”

The Power Authority initiative was one of 32 demonstration projects around the country to be awarded $620 million in funding by the DOE last week for advancing smart grid technologies to reduce the cost of electricity and optimize power grid efficiency and reliability.  Several other advanced energy projects in New York also received funding, as announced by Governor Paterson on Nov. 27 (http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/press_1127091.html).

While smart grid initiatives vary, they typically involve applications for modernizing the 20th century power grid with 21st century technologies for meeting the demands of the digital economy. 
The project being undertaken by NYPA centers on the application of a technology known as Dynamic Thermal Circuit Ratings (DTCR), consisting of advanced field instrumentation and software, for providing heightened situational awareness of the thermal conditions of
transmission lines.  Those conditions are influenced by the amount of electricity moved through the lines, along with the outside temperatures, humidity and wind in the air.

The real-time information from the DTCR technology could result in a 5 to 15 percent increase in transmission line capacity, contributing to lower energy costs and enhanced flexibility of the transmission system.  In effect, the technology is expected to maximize the utilization of the affected transmission lines without compromising their reliability.  

The Power Authority sought the DOE grant for half of the cost of the more than $1.4 million smart grid project. New York State also pledged a grant of 10 percent of the project’s costs through its Innovation Economy Matching Grants Program.

The DTCR project received letters of support from the Governor, the New York Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s bulk electricity grid, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  EPRI, an independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity, will support NYPA in implementing the project.  

The three 230-kilovolt lines where NYPA will be testing and verifying the benefits of the technology are the Moses-Willis, Willis-Ryan and Moses-Adirondack lines.  The lines carry power from NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena and other generating sources, including wind power.

The smart grid monitoring equipment installations to the three lines are expected to begin in 2010, to facilitate the carrying of additional amounts of electricity beyond the lines’ rated capacity. Assuming the DTCR application proves to be successful, NYPA could consider deploying it on other lines, as well as in the construction of new transmission.  The technology should be especially effective in areas where the development of wind generation and other alternate energy sources is limited by constraints in transmission capacity. 

The Power Authority owns and operates more 1,400 circuit-miles of high voltage transmission lines, accounting for over one-third of the state’s total.

NYPA’s generating facilities include the large hydroelectric projects on the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, making it the leading renewable power supplier in the state.
In 2009, the Power Authority began major wind and solar power initiatives in support of Governor Paterson’s ambitious renewable power goals for diversifying the state’s energy supplies, combating greenhouse gas emissions through reduced use of fossil fuels, and creating new jobs in clean energy industries.  The efforts include exploring the development of an offshore wind project in the Great Lakes and working toward a public-private partnership for the development of 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity.       

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.

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