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WHAT WE DO > Transmission Improvements

'Smart Grid' for New York

The Smart Grid represents a vision for the future of our transmission system—creating a national electricity network that is more secure, reliable and efficient, with economic and environmental benefit to the public and to the power industry.

In 2009, New York established a Smart Grid Consortium of utilities, industry, universities and state agencies with a mission to:

  • enable customers to better manage energy consumption;
  • improve detection of grid disturbances for quicker response;
  • promote greater use of renewable power sources.

NYPA supports New York’s Smart Grid in several ways, especially with projects that help assess, detect and analyze transmission disturbances. Taking immediate corrective action helps reduce physical and cyber vulnerabilities and restore normal operations. Current projects include the following:

Dynamic Thermal Circuit Ratings (DTCR) - Funded in part from a U.S. Department of Energy grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NYPA and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will evaluate dynamic thermal ratings for the Power Authority’s transmission lines, which make up one third of the state’s transmission grid. EPRI software, using weather and electrical load data, will enable more efficient delivery of wind-generated power.

For example, DTCR technology helps track transmission conditions influenced by the amount of power moving through the lines, local temperatures, humidity and wind speeds. That real time information, relayed to a central computer, could result in a 5-to-15 percent increase in transmission line capacity—contributing to lower energy costs and greater efficiency without compromising power line reliability.

Particularly in regions where increased wind generation and other renewable energy sources is limited by transmission constraints, the expectation is that DTCR will widen the Empire State’s transmission highway.

Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) - A second  project involves the creation of a statewide network of PMUs, devices that measure voltage and currents to obtain phase angles and magnitudes. Data is forwarded regularly to both a national central data repository and to NYPA’s midstate Clark Energy Center to provide operators with faster, more reliable data.

As PMUs are installed within and beyond New York’s transmission grid, system operators will be more aware of grid health and be able to foresee oncoming disturbances that could lead to widespread outages if action is not taken.

NYPA has joined with a number of federal and state agencies to advance a growing variety of Smart Grid technologies to help New York State meet the challenges of a 21st century economy. 

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