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New York Smart Grid Initiative Underway

30 Oct 2012

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is providing approximately half the funding of a $75 million smart grid initiative intended to improve the efficiency of New York’s bulk grid, which consists of hundreds of generating units and thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Completion of the smart grid projects will allow the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) to better maintain reliability of the state’s bulk power system and operate economically efficient wholesale markets.

In addition to the NYISO, other utilities and transmission owners participating in the smart grid initiative include Con Edison; National Grid; Orange and Rockland; Rochester Gas and Electric; Central Hudson Gas & Electric; New York State Electric & Gas; the New York Power Authority; and the Long Island Power Authority.

The DOE reports it has provided smart grid grants to independent system operators, transmission companies, and other utilities across the United States to install more than 800 networked phasor measurement units to help the country avoid future disturbances like the 2003 Northeast regional blackout.The initiative will modernize the electric grid by adding power management units (PMU) for measuring and reporting system conditions and enhancing voltage stability. The NYISO worked with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and each utility to deploy the devices in their service areas.

NYISO’s president and chief executive officer Stephen G. Whitley, says, “Electricity is the lifeblood of our state’s economy and the transmission grid is its circulatory system. These smart grid investments will enhance the efficient flow of power and promote a robust, reliable electric system that will support the Empire State’s economic growth for decades to come. I thank the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York State Public Service Commission and all of New York’s transmission owners for their hard work and enthusiastic cooperation in this important effort.”

Garry Brown, chairman of the New York State PSC, adds: “As the state regulator, the PSC wants to ensure that the potential investments required for the smart grid will enhance the reliability of our electric transmission and distribution systems, maximize New York’s economic competitiveness and continue to maintain just and reasonable rates.”

The NYISO’s PMU network will eventually connect with PMU networks in New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest and Ontario, Canada.