Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday announced funding for two groundbreaking programs aimed at building a smarter, more responsive power system across the state. The initiatives, funded by the New York Power Authority at a total of $173 million, will help NYPA to collect data more quickly and accurately, and allow for a faster response time to outages and other power grid issues. These modernizations will ultimately enable a more reliable and resilient power system in New York.
“Modernizing New York’s public power grid is a smart investment toward creating a more resilient and affordable system across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding is critical to ensuring that New York is prepared to withstand increasingly common extreme weather events that threaten our power system, and continues New York’s commitment as a leader in a clean energy economy.”
“This significant investment in our transmission system will upgrade the state’s power grid, making it more advanced and efficient,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We want to ensure that our power system is smarter and more resilient so we are prepared when extreme weather strikes. Modernizing our infrastructure and electric grid further advances our aggressive efforts to reach our clean energy goals for a cleaner and safer New York.”
Earlier this week, the NYPA trustees authorized $95.7 million for the Authority’s Sensor Deployment Program and an additional $77.5 million for its Communications Backbone Program. Both programs directly support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for creating a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system. In addition to advancing the state’s energy plan, the work will increase grid resiliency and deliver value to customers in the near-term while supporting the Power Authority’s Vision 2020 strategy to become the first, end-to-end digital utility in the country.
Launched earlier this year, NYPA’s Sensor Deployment Program will enable the Power Authority to measure up to 117,000 new data points across its generation and transmission system by 2019, improving NYPA’s monitoring capabilities and ability to preempt maintenance and service issues. NYPA trustees approved the use of the $95.7 million for the second phase of the program that will focus on placing new sensors on generator turbines, circuit breakers, cable systems and battery banks, and connect the sensors to NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (ISOC) in White Plains.
As part of the $95.7 million, NYPA trustees ratified a five-year, $76.2 million contract to a statewide consortium of engineering firms, E-J O’Connell Sensor Deployment Joint Venture of Long Island City, to design, build and install new sensors and associated networking across NYPA facilities. The remaining portion of the sensor deployment funding authorized will support sensor procurement, installation and commissioning, as well as, overall project management. The funding represents an expansion of the original scope of the program to include additional sensors for NYPA’s generation and transmission assets.
NYPA’s Communications Backbone Program, receiving $77.5 million through this Board action, will create a robust, secure and scalable communications network to replace NYPA’s legacy technology and manage data originating from NYPA facilities and equipment. The Board’s funding this week reflects an expansion on the original scope of the optical ground wire portion of the statewide project. In addition to other types of communications networks, the expanded project encompasses an additional 550 miles of new optical ground wire installations on existing transmission towers in central, northern and western New York. Ultimately, this investment will lead to a nearly 700-mile optical ground wire installation by 2021. When completed, the Communications Backbone Program will allow NYPA to be less reliant on third-party carriers and provide more flexibility to deliver and expand services.