NYPA's Marcy Energy Center Improves New York Transmission System
April 13, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCY—A pioneering power control project, the Convertible Static
Compensator (CSC), at the New York Power Authority's Frederick R. Clark
Energy Center has begun to increase the amount of electricity that can be
moved reliably over existing transmission lines, a boon for the New York
Independent System Operator (NYISO) as the peak summer usage period
The NYISO announced Friday that the CSC will allow power flows through
the Utica-Albany corridor of transmission to increase by approximately 60
megawatts (mw). Major transmission lines from all areas of the state
converge in Central New York, causing the state’s most serious
transmission bottleneck along the crucial Utica-Albany corridor. The NYISO
is responsible for maintaining the reliability of New York’s bulk power
system and operating a fair and competitive wholesale energy market.
The improved power flows are a result of Phase One of the CSC project.
With completion of Phase Two of the CSC next year, the project will not
only move more power over existing lines, but will have the capability to
route power away from heavily loaded lines to underutilized lines. When
fully operational, the CSC is expected to increase power flows by some 240
mw over all transmission corridors in the system.
"NYPA’s combination of high-tech innovations and lower-cost
energy promotes Governor George E. Pataki’s efforts to revitalize New
York’s economy by helping to make more power available at competitive
prices," said Joseph J. Seymour, chairman and chief executive officer
of the New York Power Authority. "The CSC’s new technology benefits
the entire statewide transmission system by helping to maximize plant
output, reduce system losses and provide flexibility for system
operations. These improvements will help achieve a competitive marketplace
for electricity in New York State."
Work on the CSC began in May 1999. On this past April 2, after nearly
two years of construction and months of testing, NYPA’s Energy Control
Center at Marcy notified NYISO that Phase One was ready.
"The new CSC will provide enhanced voltage support and increase
New York’s cross-state transfer capability, strengthening the
reliability and efficiency of the state’s bulk power transmission
system," said William J. Museler, NYISO president and chief executive
Power Authority Chairman Seymour also noted that increasing the
capacity of current transmission lines benefits the environment by
reducing the need to construct new high-voltage lines. "By making
better use of existing transmission lines, the Power Authority is helping
to meet Governor Pataki’s commitment to the environment," he said.
The Power Authority’s CSC is the latest generation of FACTS (Flexible
Alternating Current Transmission Systems) technology. The FACTS technology
was developed by EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) in cooperation
with several electric utilities, including NYPA. Combining high-speed,
solid-state power electronics, microprocessors, computers, advanced
automation, communications and power system analysis software, FACTS
provides unprecedented control of power delivery, minimizes line
disturbances and helps to reduce power interruptions. Existing
electromechanical power controls are not fast enough to rapidly respond to
changing system demands.
The advanced technology can better control and stabilize voltage, which
is the force—much like the pressure in a garden hose—sending
electricity through transmission lines. When customers demand more power,
voltage usually goes down and if voltage is not kept within a certain
range, reliability can be jeopardized. Unevenness in voltage levels also
occurs over long distances and with system irregularities such as line
failures. The new technology will help keep voltage stable, allowing more
power to travel more reliably over a line.
The CSC development and installation is a collaborative $48 million
effort by the Power Authority, which has invested about $35 million; EPRI;
Siemens Transmission and Distribution; and over 30 electric utilities in
the United States, Canada and other countries.