NYPA Embarks on Second Phase of Sensor Deployment in Effort to Become Fully-Digital

Dec. 4, 2018
Sensors to provide more than 100,000 data points to advance digitization of the electric grid.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced it will soon begin the second phase of its sensor deployment program to install sensors that monitor generation and transmission assets with the goal of increasing the efficiency, productivity and resilience of New York’s power system. The $100 million, multiphase program is a key component of NYPA’s Smart Generation & Transmission and Asset Management strategic initiatives and provides thousands of data points that bring NYPA closer to becoming the nation’s first end‑to‑end digital utility through the digitization of all equipment and processes from the point of power generation through its delivery.

Through the sensor deployment program, NYPA is installing sensors on transformers, reactors, turbines, generators, breakers, battery banks, cables and transmission lines in order to provide a wealth of asset data to the Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC). Phase one, expected to be complete by the end of 2018, is to network existing sensors to add 20,000 data points into the iSOC, which already monitors over 26,000 data points.

In phase two, NYPA is installing hundreds of new sensors to bring more than 65,000 additional data points to the iSOC. Work on phase two began in October, and is expected to continue through 2020. Plans for phase three, which will be further developed in 2019, involve the design and implementation of advanced sensors, specifically focusing on developing technologies that are still maturing.

The data points captured through the sensors are mapped through the Process Integration (PI) system at the local control room and transferred over NYPA’s Communications Backbone to the central PI at the iSOC in White Plains, New York. At the iSOC, NYPA’s Asset Performance Management (APM) system performs advanced analytics that provide real‑time and predictive insight into asset health. Existing sensors capture asset data such as temperature, power loads, vibrations, pressure, emissions and moisture. Phase two is adding more of these same sensors, plus additional measures that monitor breaker contact wear, contact timing, current leakage, partial discharge, fluid leak detection, and battery bank performance. 

“The sensor deployment project supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) by increasing the quantity and types of data available to the iSOC,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. “The Process Integration system, Communications Backbone, Asset Performance Management software, and iSOC all work together to package, transport, analyze and consume the data captured by these sensors, giving NYPA operators the ability to identify and address issues well before the grid is impacted.”

“NYPA is leading the industry in deploying sensor technology to support our goal of becoming a fully digital utility,” said Kenneth Kristensen, NYPA senior project engineer. “This program will provide NYPA with the data needed to make smart and efficient decisions, reduce unplanned outages, lower maintenance costs and increase resiliency.”

NYPA owns and operates about one‑third of New York’s high‑voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA’s three large hydroelectric generation facilities and wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy to New York State’s power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,200 mW of hydroelectric power and about 700 mW, or more than a third, of New York State‑generated wind energy to the grid.

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