A major announcement highlights a ground-breaking partnership making NYPA the first power provider to enter into an enterprise-wise digital transformation agreement with GE Power. The range of solutions involved in this partnership between GE Power and NYPA will provide NYPA with significant benefits, enabling it to optimize its maintenance activities and operational decisions in real time across its diverse assets and systems, and consolidate disparate data into a single, secure operating system
“This is a transformative moment in the 85-year history for NYPA and its customers as we reach the next milestone in our digital journey,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer at NYPA. “This digital solutions platform supports our primary mission to provide customers with low-cost, clean, reliable power with the industry-leading energy infrastructure and services they value.”
“The digital transformation of electric power has the potential to create more than a trillion dollars of economic and societal value in the next decade,” said Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer, GE Power. “NYPA is truly a pioneer, moving first to unleash the value that comes from connecting, monitoring, analyzing and ultimately optimizing the performance of its entire electricity value network.”
Today’s announcement supports New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system with NYPA leading on many of the grid and transmission modernization and reliability efforts across the state.
The collaboration will focus on improving system-wide performance and operating costs of NYPA’s hydroelectric and gas-based electricity generation capability, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. NYPA’s hydropower plants and low-emitting natural gas plants are typically responsible for 15 to 20 percent of the state’s daily electricity output.
To help accomplish this, GE will provide Asset Performance Management (APM) software. The software leverages data analytics to monitor power generation and transmission equipment health in order to predict potential failures and thereby reduce unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs and lower operational risks.
This process starts by merging the physical and digital – connecting energy-producing machines, such as gas and hydro turbines via sensors to analytics software. This software, running in NYPA’s central Smart Operations Center, then provides operations leaders with predictive alerts which accurately forecast possible failures weeks before they might occur. GE’s APM solution, which runs on its Predix operating system for the Industrial Internet, thereby enables operators to better detect problems that could affect the NYPA ecosystem, resulting in increased plant efficiencies and productivity, reduction of unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs and lower operational risks.
GE was selected to provide the software for NYPA’s Smart Operations Center through a competitive bid process. The Smart Operations Center is expected to begin operations in December 2016. It is a critical component to NYPA’s five-year strategic vision. NYPA plans to extend the capabilities of the Smart Operations Center over time to include digitally-enabled communications, network operations, cybersecurity and physical security across its generation fleet and transmission system.
[Editor’s note: We wax reflective here, and in our admiration of this development, we would like to point out that making electric utility history is nothing new for upstate New York, GE and NYPA, given the history of Buffalo, NY, which was nicknamed in 1901 the “City of Light” due to Buffalo being the first American city to have widespread electric lighting, resulting from the ground-breaking central-station based electrification via power from Niagara Falls.]