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NYPA to Test Use of Artificial Intelligence in Upgrading Transmission Cable

July 14, 2021
Joint project with startup to help advance power system reliability and resilience research.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is launching a demonstration project with a Sweden-based technology company to explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as part of a long-term upgrade strategy for the Y-49 Long Island Sound Cable. The cable transports power from Westchester to Long Island.

The Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI's) Incubatenergy Labs program announced the selection of Eneryield of Gothenburg, Sweden, as one of 20 startup companies that will conduct accelerated demonstrations of their technologies with utilities and the EPRI as part of Incubatenergy Labs' 2021 Cohort.

"Collaborating on the rapid assessment and deployment of innovations across power generation, delivery, and end use is essential to achieving deep decarbonization by 2035," said the EPRI's Incubatenergy Lead Erik Steeb. "Incubatenergy Labs brings startups like Eneryield and utilities together to crowdsource the demonstration of these innovations and accelerate the commercialization of promising technologies."

The NYPA will collaborate with Eneryield, which provides machine learning algorithms for intelligent energy analytics and control of electricity flow, to demonstrate the use of new technology to identify possible solutions to detect faults and help strengthen and upgrade the Long Island Sound Cable. The cable is currently being evaluated for long-term repairs.

"This is an opportunity to take new technologies that have shown promise in development and put them to the test with real-time data and an active power system," said Alan Ettlinger, senior director of research, technology development, and innovation for the NYPA, which owns and operates the Long Island span. "The use of AI in infrastructure inspections can help increase reliability and safety, recognize malfunctioning equipment, and identify problems that need repair, thereby mitigating outages for customers."

Eneryield was chosen by the NYPA from more than 250 international startups by a panel of global utility and EPRI subject matter experts. The startups will spend 16 weeks working with electric power utilities around the nation and the EPRI on demonstration technology projects intended to accelerate decarbonization, electrification, grid modernization, and other electric power industry innovation imperatives. Results will be presented during the interactive Incubatenergy Labs Demo Days, Oct. 19 to 20.

The NYPA's project will focus on its Y-49 transmission cable, a 23-mile, 693-MW line that runs from Long Island to Westchester. Historical data will be used from various sources and AI/machine learning techniques will be applied to identify small anomalies, deviations, and patterns to predict larger imminent disturbances or faults. The project aims to determine whether the techniques can help predict developing problems or incipient failure of buried/underwater cables and improve on unique correlations and data characteristics that can be measured in more conventional analysis techniques.

The cable has had faults that have contributed to intermittent outages over the past year. The NYPA is working with its local partners, the Long Island Power Authority, and its service provider PSEG Long Island to implement a long-term strategy for its reliability and resilience going forward. Solutions include replacing segments of the span and potentially expanding the line's capacity to prepare for an influx of green energy sources. The learnings from this demonstration project will help inform the next steps for the line's upgrade.

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