NYPA Press Release

Simulations at N.Y. Power Authority's Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe) Ensure Grid Reliability with New Technology Integration

For Immediate Release: 02/03/20

Contact: NYPA Media Relations | 914-681-6770 | media.inquiries@nypa.gov



NYPA Successfully Completes First Protection and Performance Studies of SmartValves Technology


WHITE PLAINS — At the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) recently developed Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), real-time simulators have successfully started using detailed digital models of New York’s statewide grid to run hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests. HIL tests are software-based simulations used to test the hardware components of intricate embedded systems. In these tests, protective relays are physically hooked up to the digital simulator, allowing NYPA engineers to evaluate and adjust equipment settings before installation on the grid.


NYPA recently used AGILe to assess how the installation of SmartValve devices by Smart Wires Inc., part of the $15 million Moses-Adirondack Advanced Power Flow Control Project, will impact the grid. SmartValve technology allows for power to be pushed and pulled from congested to underutilized transmission lines, improving the flow of power along NYPA’s north-south corridor. While tremendously valuable, the ability for devices like SmartValves to alter the flow of power means that every scenario must be understood in advance. To do so, NYPA engineer Francisco Martínez used AGILe to test all the potential impacts that SmartValves could have in practice, before the technology is installed on the grid.


“At AGILe, we digitally simulated the SmartValves in the power system under fault condtions to test relay performance before installation of the new, non-conventional elements in the system,” Martínez said.


Starting in March 2019, Martínez and his team ran approximately 3,000 fault scenarios with the new equipment modeled on the Moses-Adirondack transmission line to analyze how protective relays, the new equipment and the rest of the grid reacted. This testing, completed in September 2019, ensured there were no unintended consequences from the technology integration. The installation of SmartValves is planned to begin in Fall 2020, with completion planned for Spring 2021.


NYPA owns and operates approximately onethird of New York’s highvoltage 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 megawatts of hydroelectric power and about 700 megawatts, or more than a third, of New York Stategenerated wind energy to the grid.


Improving power flow along transmission corridors supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal initiative by more effectively moving energy from upstate renewable sources such as wind and hydroelectric to other parts of the state.


Before AGILe was developed, NYPA engineers relied on third-party labs to conduct system testing for non-conventional elements. Transitioning to internal NYPA resources makes testing faster and reduces the cost. NYPA teams are gaining valuable hands-on testing experience at AGILe, which will make future projects even more cost-effective and timely as HIL testing becomes more important and widely adopted industrywide.


AGILe is already proving to be a key resource for NYPA to maximize its efficiency without sacrificing reliability. Strategic investments like AGILe are helping NYPA achieve its goal of becoming the first end-to-end digital utility.


New York State's Green New Deal   


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate change program in the nation and puts the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy, including power generation, transportation, buildings, industry and agriculture.  The Governor’s program also establishes a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any state in the nation. The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates several of the Governor’s ambitious Green New Deal clean energy targets: installing nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035; six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025 and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. The CLCPA also calls for an orderly and just transition to clean energy, creating jobs while spurring a green economy. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, and 1,700% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012. The CLCPA also directs New York State's agencies and authorities to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, and to work toward a goal of investing 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency resources to benefit disadvantaged communities. 


About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.