NYPA Press Release

NYPA Uses Weather Sensors to Better Predict Weather Patterns Affecting Power Transmission Lines in the North Country

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2021

Contacts: Lynne Smith; Lynne.Smith@nypa.gov (914) 346-4656

Sensors Detect Local On-Site Weather Conditions to Enhance Transmission Capability, Increase Power Flow Efficiency, and Improve Grid Reliability


Learnings from Demonstration Project to Inform Utility Industry on How to Better Predict Local Weather for Optimal Line Operation


The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced the installation of new, state-of-the-art weather sensors on a series of Northern New York transmission lines to generate more reliable weather data. The $1 million Forecast Dynamic Line Rating R&D project, jointly funded by NYPA and  the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), monitors actual weather conditions at individual transmission towers rather than relying on national forecast data taken miles away. Being able to receive regular updates on real-time conditions including air temperature, wind conditions and solar intensity, will help system operators know more accurately how much power can be delivered through the lines. The demonstration project is the first in the nation to validate the ability to monitor and forecast transmission line capacity all along the transmission lines, including  structure to structure spans, instead of using single weather monitor location measurements.


“New York weather is unpredictable and changes by the minute. A real-time technology that provides accurate, detailed forecasting data will help NYPA determine how to safely and reliably move more electricity through existing transmission lines,” said Alan Ettlinger, senior director of Research, Technology Development and Innovation. “This solution can be easily implemented by other utility companies and help transmission line operators enhance the current-carrying capability of New York State’s electric power system and better address congestion issues.”


Sensors have been installed on the Moses-Willis-Plattsburgh transmission lines in ten locations throughout St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton counties in New York’s North Country.


Large and well-planned expansion of the state transmission grid and enhanced grid capability is critically needed in New York State to relieve transmission congestion and to integrate renewables into the grid. One of NYPA’s priorities under its VISION2030 strategic vision calls for becoming the state’s leading transmission developer, owner and operator through significant investments in support of the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), which challenges for New York State to reach a carbon-free electricity system by 2040.


NYSERDA Innovation Operations Manager Richard Bourgeois said: “We’re proud to support technology advances that give utilities the information they need to maximize the capabilities of their equipment. Knowing weather data in real time at specific locations in the transmission system will allow more renewable power to reach more New York homes and businesses.”


NYPA has 1,400 miles of transmission lines that carry power from generation sources to distribution centers and eventually feed both residential and commercial customers. However, many of the lines were built in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and with growing electricity demand, there are often bottlenecks in the transmission system.


The rating of lines by the New York Independent Systems Operator and utilities for how much power a line can transmit is impacted by the weather and like most utilities, NYPA now uses static line ratings based on conservative assumptions about weather conditions to determine how much electricity can safely be pushed through a transmission line. However, transmission lines take circuitous routes through remote areas, through valleys and mountains, and weather, especially in the mountainous regions of New York State, changes dramatically based on wind and light conditions.


“Utilities are being encouraged to use dynamic and smart ratings to deliver more power with existing lines,” said Chunchuan (Charlie) Xu, a senior engineer at NYPA and point on the project. “We will monitor real time conditions, refine our forecasting and share our results so other New York State utilities also can benefit from energy savings and improved transmission performance.”


The project will demonstrate the WindSim Power Line forecast/real-time transmission line rating system that can help enhance the capacity of existing transmission infrastructure and relieve congestion, enabling more efficient utilization of the electric transmission and distribution grid. The technology could enhance the transmission capability up to 60 percent for selected transmission lines, Ettlinger said.


Learn more about the weatherization project and watch a weather sensor installation in NYPA’s video.


New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

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.


About WindSim Power Inc.

Headquartered in Westlake Village California USA, WindSim Power is a provider of high-performance Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) software and consulting services for power utility operators aiming to increase transmission capacity of existing power lines with no extra CAPEX. WindSim Power Line (WPL) solution measures environmental conditions, providing full visibility of transmission line conditions for a real-time overview of true capacity. The benchmark WPL solution was created in a unique collaboration including ground-breaking software from Idaho National Labs and Computational Fluid Dynamics technology developed by WindSim Power’s Norwegian parent company, WindSim AS. Committed to a clean future, our focus is on providing highly efficient solutions that contribute to preserving the environment. Learn more about us at www.windsimpower.com  and follow us on LinkedIn.