Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the opening of a new, cutting-edge digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center at the New York Power Authority’s headquarters in White Plains. The initiative is a major milestone in the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build an energy system that is cleaner, more resilient and affordable and is part of the Governor’s investment in clean energy technology and innovation. The new Integrated Smart Operations Center, known as the iSOC, will analyze the performance of NYPA’s power generation assets and statewide network of transmission lines to identify problems and issues before they occur in an effort to prevent potential service outages and reduce repair and replacement costs. The new center also advances the state’s goal to become the first all-digital public power utility in the United States.
“With the opening of this state-of-the-art center, we are modernizing our state energy system and creating a more resilient, reliable and flexible power grid helping to grow our clean energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This hub keeps New York at the forefront of innovation while leading the nation in combatting climate change through bold investments in clean energy technology, helping to secure a greener future for all.”
The state-of-the-art center uses GE Digital’s predictive analytics software to forecast and prevent equipment failures and significant outages at NYPA’s 16 power plants and more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines. NYPA will use GE’s software to monitor several aspects of its generation and transmission operations. NYPA plans to integrate additional monitoring capabilities on GE’s Predix application platform in the future, including emergency operations, cybersecurity, physical security, network operations, information technology and data analytics.
Online monitoring of power plants, substations and power lines will increase plant efficiency and productivity, reduce unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs and minimize operational risks. The technology also will help NYPA make continued progress in meeting the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires that half of all electricity in New York comes from renewable sources and that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced 40 percent by 2030.
New York State Chairman of Energy & Finance Richard L. Kauffman said, “Utilities need to move more aggressively into the digital age if we are to build a grid that is more affordable, resilient and with fewer emissions. Much as it did as a pioneer in the early days of large-scale hydro development, NYPA is setting the pace to become the nation's first digital end-to-end utility."
“Today is a banner day for NYPA and a historic day for New York State’s energy system,” said John R. Koelmel, chairman, NYPA Board of Trustees. “This digital power operations center will help NYPA make optimal, cost-efficient asset management decisions at its power generating facilities that will improve performance, lower operating costs, and help to reduce carbon emissions throughout the state by running more efficient generation and transmission facilities.”
“Deploying these breakthrough technologies marks a major step in NYPA’s effort to become the nation’s first digital utility, end-to-end, and sets a new standard in utility asset management,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “By using advanced data analysis to monitor all our assets simultaneously, we can continue to provide low-cost and reliable power while making smart and efficient operating decisions in real time.”
“We applaud this tremendous step for NYPA as the Authority leads the way for digital transformation in the power and utility industry. Our collaboration can serve as an example for how GE’s digital solutions are purpose built for industry, increasing efficiency and productivity in some of the most complex operations,” said Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital and Chief Digital Officer of GE. “Through a fully integrated approach to big data and analytics, our software solutions like Asset Performance Management are helping organizations like NYPA turn insights into action and make power affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.”
NYPA began using the system to monitor its 500-megawatt power plant in Queens in December 2016 and has now expanded its use to monitor all of its generation and transmission assets. Data is collected from more than 24,000 strategically deployed sensors embedded in equipment and analyzed for signs of normal aging. Data highlights are displayed in real time on an 81-foot video wall, where more than a dozen data screens draw attention to significant deviations. NYPA engineers can then promptly address potential issues with plant operations managers.
Also housed on the 25,000-square-foot all-digital floor will be NYPA’s New York Energy Manager (NYEM) and its Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), which uses “big data” analytics to simulate, develop, deploy and integrate the next-generation electric grid, further positioning New York State as a leader in electric grid research.
Predictive analytics have already helped NYPA address issues that could have escalated into more serious problems had they not been diagnosed and addressed early. Going forward, the iSOC will help prevent potentially expensive shut downs of power assets for repairs or replacement.
The asset health center is also key in helping NYPA achieve the goals of its 2020 strategic plan to improve the efficiency and reliability of its facilities while making them more cost effective.
Smart Space Fosters Collaboration and Innovation
Today’s unveiling also included a presentation about how NYPA’s AGILe initiative fosters collaboration with academia, government and the private sector working on joint research and the development of smart-grid technology. Quiniones and NYPA staff also explained how the New York Energy Manager, housed both on the digital floor and in Albany, uses advanced data analytics to provide thousands of state buildings with information on their energy use to help them increase efficiencies and achieve cost savings.
The iSOC unites several NYPA departments in a shared collaborative, physical space aimed to inspire creativity, problem solving and partnership. The floor also houses NYPA’s emergency operations center, strategy team, and research, technology development and innovation offices. In addition, an “Innovation Zone” open plan workspace encourages engineers, program and project leaders, and customers to collaborate on new ideas and develop new solutions and applications.