NYPA Press Release

New York Power Authority Receives National Energy Innovator Award

For Immediate Release: 06/12/24

Contact: media.inquiries@nypa.gov 


New York Power Authority Receives National Energy Innovator Award

Fiber Optic Sensing Technology Identifies
Power Line Conditions in Real Time


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) received an American Public Power Association (APPA) Energy Innovator Award yesterday in recognition of a real-time transmission line issue detection system that is helping improve grid safety, security and reliability. The award was presented during the APPA’s National Conference in San Diego, California.


“The New York Power Authority worked with Prisma Photonics to implement a technology that identifies power line conditions in real time to recognize problems before they become serious,” said Alan Ettlinger, NYPA’s senior director of Research, Technology Development, and Innovation. “Strengthening our transmission assets improves grid reliability and resilience, helps prevent power outages and furthers New York State’s clean energy goals.”


In 2021, the Power Authority began leveraging Prisma Photonics’ PrismaPower technology to monitor a transmission line connecting substations in the Catskill Mountains. The more than 35 miles of line are often exposed to strong winds, significant snowfall and severe weather conditions. NYPA gathered nearly two years of data to determine the effects of various weather conditions on the electric grid and in specific towers. The information allowed for NYPA to optimize maintenance and relay key details to crews before they arrive in the field.


In addition to diagnosing power line health and flagging catastrophic events such as flashovers, short circuits and vegetation strikes, the technology has the potential to detect wildfires and other extreme events that threaten grid reliability.


Prisma Photonics won NYPA’s 2021 Israel Smart Energy Challenge that solicited start-up technologies from companies headquartered in Israel that support New York's clean energy transition. The competition gave the company the opportunity to work with New York's public utility to scale up its real-time transmission line issue detection system. 


The Energy Innovator Award honors utilities that have developed or applied creative, energy-efficient techniques and technologies to provide better service to electric customers or projects that increase the efficiency of utility operations or resource efficiency.




About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 17 generating facilities and more than 1,550 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.