NYISO: Changes in Energy Demand, Power ResourceS, Fuel Diversity Contribute to Electric Grid Evolution

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New York’s electric power grid is on the threshold of significant change, and collaborative efforts are needed among industry participants and policymakers to address the associated challenges and opportunities, according to a report by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

Higher peak electricity demands, significant turnover in the portfolio of power resources that serve those demands, the emergence of distributed energy resources and increasing dependence on natural gas to generate electric power will present challenges and opportunities for New York’s electric system.

“New York faces a range of issues that impact reliable operation of the power grid and electricity markets, but active collaboration among stakeholders and across neighboring regions-along with continued analysis of economic trends, high-tech upgrades and thoughtful implementation of public policy-remain the best path toward developing effective solutions,” said Stephen G. Whitley, president and CEO of NYISO.

The annual “Power Trends” report enhances understanding and promotes awareness of the key forces and factors that New York’s energy future faces. Among its findings this year, the report highlights:

Peak load outpacing average demand. Within a span of six months, New York set two seasonal records for peak electric load. An all-time record peak was set in July 2013, and a new winter peak was reached in January 2014.

Peak demand in New York is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 0.83 percent from 2014 through 2024. In contrast, overall electric energy use is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 0.16 percent during the next decade. Simply put, the amount of power used during periods with the highest electricity demand is expected to increase at a faster rate than the amount of power used on a daily basis.

“When peak demand outpaces day-to-day electricity use, it accentuates the need to address peak conditions by retaining and developing power resources to their fullest capacity,” Whitley said. “This trend also highlights the value of demand-side measures and distributed energy resources in reducing peak demand and offering new ways to meet consumer electricity needs.”

Across the competitive wholesale electricity market landscape, capacity markets designed to assure the reliable supply of power resources are undergoing significant analysis and enhancement.

Distributed energy resources pose challenges to the traditional model of a centralized electric system yet offer opportunities to bolster the efficiency and flexibility of grid operations and address peak load issues.

Power resource margins narrowing. Although more than 10,000 MW of generation have been added in New York since 2000, power plant retirements outpaced additions in recent years. As a result, New York’s power resource margins remain positive but are narrowing from a surplus of more than 5,000 MW in 2012 to just more than 1,900 MW in 2014.

In addition, transmission constraints limit the economically efficient dispatch of electricity to the high-demand southeastern region of New York, which consumes nearly two-thirds of the electricity in the state but is capable of generating less than half the state’s power.

“Sustaining sufficient power resources for electric system reliability requires a balance of well-designed wholesale electricity markets and sound public policy to encourage development of generation, transmission and demand-side resources where they are most needed,” Whitley said.

Fuel diversity challenges persist. Reliance on natural gas is significant and growing. Wholesale electricity prices are directly influenced by the cost of the fuels used by power plants to meet the demand for electricity.

Power plants fueled primarily by natural gas account for more than half the electric generating capacity in New York. More than 70 percent of proposed power projects in New York also would be fueled by natural gas.

In 2013 and winter 2014, dramatic increases in the cost of natural gas produced spikes in power prices. This gas-induced power price volatility and that gas-fired generation frequently balances the system and sets the clearing price of power highlights the value of maintaining fuel diversity.

Efforts to coordinate natural gas and electricity markets and system operations are increasing at the federal and state levels, as is development of market designs to incent fuel assurance.

The use of renewable resources also continues to develop. Wind-generated electric energy in New York increased 16 percent in 2013. The uncertainty of federal tax incentives for wind development has damped development of new wind capacity, however, with less than 100 MW added to the New York system since last year.

Currently, solar power resources are growing behind the meter. Although distributed energy resources include a wide range of technologies and systems, customer-sited photovoltaic appears to be among the fasting-growing segments. A New York government initiative, NY-Sun, calls for installation of 3,000 MW of customer-sited solar capacity by 2023.

As part of its overall energy strategy, New York has launched the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative aimed at setting the stage for management and coordination of distributed energy resources.

Regional collaboration. Removing barriers to the efficient flow of power among regional electric systems can increase operational flexibility, optimize available resources and enhance system resilience.

The Broader Regional Markets initiative is bolstering coordination among regional electric systems to accelerate transactions and provide consumer savings.

The NYISO and PJM implemented a key component of the Broader Regional Markets initiative in early 2013 with the launch of Market-to-Market Congestion Relief Coordination. In its first year of operation, the initiative saved an estimated $4.7 million. Savings are expected to grow in cross-border transactions with PJM and with the implementation of regional market changes with other neighboring grid operators.

The Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) is engaged in studying gas-electric coordination issues across an array of electric systems that serve the eastern U.S. to determine the sufficiency of the gas-electric system overlay and identify potential improvements to these interdependent systems.

Power Trends and Data Report

The NYISO produced “Power Trends 2014” with its “2014 Load and Capacity Data Report,” or the “Gold Book.” Published annually, the Gold Book presents transmission and generation data and load forecasts for the 2013-2023. Copies are available on the NYISO website, www.nyiso.com.


Survey: Money Motivates Americans to Participate in Utility Demand Response

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Electric energy providers are working to encourage participation in demand response programs designed to boost bottom lines and ease the burden on the nation’s electric grid. Only 14 percent of Americans are taking advantage of the programs, yet 87 percent would participate for the right incentives, including prepaid cash-back rewards, according to new research.

The parago energy survey “Turn Up Demand Response: Educate and Incent Energy Consumers” examined Americans’ awareness of and participation in demand response programs. In these programs, consumers voluntarily curb their energy use or agree to distributed generation during peak usage to relieve grid stress. The research also examined which incentives would motivate consumers to participate in demand response.

Parago, an international incentives and engagement company, surveyed U.S. residents in competitive and rate-regulated markets. More than 2,800 consumers representative of standard U.S. demographics responded to the survey.

“As grid modernization efforts progress, additional benefits of demand response have become clear to electric energy providers,” said Jay Grinde, director of energy business development at parago. “Our findings show that in order to increase participation, providers would be wise to begin educating their communities differently about demand response and roll out incentive-based strategies that reward consumers in new ways for participation in these programs.”

Key findings from the demand response research include:

  • Lack of awareness is still problematic. Fifty percent of respondents weren’t sure if their utilities offered demand response programs. An additional 25 percent said their utilities did not offer these programs-another key indicator of low awareness.
  • Savings spark participation. Eighty-four percent were financially motivated to participate in demand response programs. Only 6 percent were motivated by environmental concerns.
  • Customer connection is falling short. Two out of three customers who participate in demand response programs are not satisfied with or are not sure about the rewards available and the communications they receive regarding the programs.
  • Incentives drive sign-ups. Eighty-seven percent would sign up for a monetary reward such as a prepaid card or free energy-saving equipment.

The parago energy study was an online survey conducted during the first quarter of 2014.


Con Edison Hires Alstom to Help Manage New York City Electricity Demand

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As part of a Department of Energy Smart Grid Demonstration Project, Alstom has been awarded a contract to deliver its Demand Response Management System (DRMS) to Con Edison. Con Edison provides electric service to 3.3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

Alstom’s DRMS, based on its e-terraDRBizNet 3.0 technology, will allow Con Edison to efficiently use consumer loads to manage energy supply and demand with incentives offered to electricity customers to reduce consumption during periods of peak distribution system demand such as hot summer days or to alleviate stress on the distribution system.

In 2013, with more than 8.3 million square feet of office space under construction, New York City was one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Con Edison has 94,000 miles of underground electric cables, plus another 34,000 miles of overhead wires to serve its customers.

“Con Edison needed a robust, open, comprehensive and scalable solution to manage our growing demand response activities and data within a single platform,” said Andre Wellington, a project manager at Con Edison. “Alstom’s DRMS will help streamline our business processes and efficiently manage and optimize our growing demand response portfolio.”

The DRMS integrates residential, commercial and industrial demand response programs and device technologies. It can be used from small pilot deployments such as handling new, initial automated demand response programs to large industrial-grade DRMS needs such as efficiently calling on a large complex portfolio of energy resources to address surging demand.

The DRMS forecasts available load curtailment capacity. In some utility installations, it has been deployed with the capability to send signals for automatic load control to aggregators or directly to devices such as air conditioners or water heaters, thus optimizing the use of electricity.

It then calculates customers’ normal electricity usage as a baseline and compares actual reduced usage to measure performance.


National Grid First Utility to Adopt CEIVA Energy, Carrier HEMS Smart Thermostat

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National Grid will be the first utility to adopt Carrier’s smart ComfortChoice thermostat and the integrated CEIVA Energy home energy management system (HEMS) for residential customers.

The partnership enables National Grid and other utilities to communicate energy-efficiency and demand response programs to residential customers. The collaboration gives utilities enhanced intelligence and control to meet mandates and enables them to share real-time demand information and adjust thermostat settings based on outside temperatures to help residential customers increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Meanwhile, residential customers gain access to an advanced, user-friendly smart thermostat and HEMS platform that allows them to monitor and control their home energy usage through mobile devices and Web platforms.

“This innovative solution uses best-in-class technology to help customers and utilities alike realize great efficiencies,” said Raymond Archacki, senior product manager at Carrier. “The more homeowners can easily monitor and control their home energy use via smart, secure and easy-to-use thermostats and a broader HEMS platform, the more they’ll reduce energy and engage with their utility.”

CEIVA’s HEMS platform collects detailed data directly from smart meters then presents it to customers in formats including an in-home display, mobile app and website. To attract attention and maintain engagement, the platform blends the instant energy data with customers’ personal photos synched from platforms such as Facebook and Picasa. In addition to adjusting thermostat settings, utilities can use the Carrier-integrated platforms to deploy customized demand response programs and encourage customer engagement around energy use. As a result, CEIVA and Carrier help consumers save energy in their homes by eliminating wasteful heating and cooling through easy-to-use, consumer-friendly interfaces.

Farah Saeed, principal consultant at Frost & Sullivan, said the combination has the potential to make a significant impact on home energy management.

“These partnerships bring us closer to a one-stop shop for utilities to deploy all the residential efficiency tools they have in their toolbox,” she said.

Carrier’s 200,000 installed smart thermostats throughout the U.S. also will be equipped for the CEIVA platform, enabling a seamless transition as other utilities adopt the technology.


FPL Wins SEE Awards for Transmission, Transformer, Customer Projects

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Two of Florida Power & Light Co.’s (FPL’s) most challenging infrastructure projects and a new customer service platform were recognized by the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) during its June 25 awards ceremony in Orlando.

The projects, which were honored with the organization’s Excellence Awards, were judged by several criteria, including innovation, improvements, requirements met and technical complexity.

In addition, the company received an award for achieving top performance for nuclear generation safety.

The award-winning projects include:

Squeeze Play: Integrating 700 MW into an Existing Transmission Corridor. To support the new Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center in Riviera Beach, a team from FPL’s transmission and substation organization planned, reconfigured and rebuilt nearly 22 miles of transmission lines and integrated 10 miles of new transmission lines without purchasing additional property or easements. The work was finished on time despite several challenges, including illegal structures that had been constructed within the company’s easement and working around environmentally sensitive areas.

Railway Emergency/Unplanned Power Transformer Replacements. In September 2012, a large transformer experienced some challenges at a substation, which supplies power to several critical medical, police and fire rescue facilities, along with a major arena and residential buildings in downtown Miami. The initial transformer replacement project was complicated further when monitors detected the remaining transformer was failing. Two teams oversaw the restoration effort, which included installing a mobile transformer within 26 hours, overcoming engineering and logistical challenges, and installing two new transformers in a congested urban area.

Customer Experience Solution (CES). CES was developed to provide a comprehensive view of the customer experience by collecting information that resided across systems in different areas of the company. The tool provides FPL with a greater understanding of customer needs and experiences, giving a more personalized response to their inquiries.

Go to www.pgi.hotims.com for more information.



EYE ON the world

Alstom to integrate renewable energies in Smart Grid Vendàƒ©e project

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Alstom has been awarded a contract to deliver its Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) for the Vendàƒ©e, an administrative district on the west coast of France.

Smart Grid Vendàƒ©e is a consortium-led demonstration project launched in June 2013 that will last five years and is worth 28 million euros. It will pilot a range of smart grid technologies to tackle the changing energy landscape, integrating renewable energies and modernizing the electricity distribution grid.

The distribution grid is seeing an increase in small-scale power generation such as wind and solar energies, as well as new ways of using electricity, such as electrical vehicles. The integration of distributed energy resources (DER) in the distribution grid at an optimal infrastructure cost requires the deployment of new information and operation technologies. These technologies smooth the intermittency in generation or consumption peaks and pave the way to a reliable grid.

Go to www.pgi.hotims.com for more information.


Siemens installs second HVDC converter platform for TenneT

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Siemens has installed the BorWin2 offshore platform in the North Sea northwest of the island of Borkum. This marks Siemens’ achievement of the second milestone in the German grid connection projects under contract with the German-Dutch network operator TenneT.

Siemens erected its first converter platform for the HelWin1 connection off Heligoland in the North Sea in August 2013.

The BorWin2 transmission capacity of 800 MW is enough to meet the power demand of some 800,000 German households. On the platforms, the alternating current generated by the wind turbines is transformed into low-loss direct current (DC) for transmission to the mainland by using Siemens technology. The BorWin2 onshore converter station, likewise supplied to TenneT by Siemens, is located in Diele. There the electric power from the connected wind farms is converted back into the alternating current (AC) required to feed into the power grid.

“Once more we have mastered the challenging offshore installation part,” said Karlheinz Springer, CEO of the power transmission division at Siemens AG. “We are now in the final stretch to achieve commissioning in the first half of 2015, as promised. When the two platforms yet installed by us go online, they will be able to supply more than 1.3 million households.”

Lex Hartman, a member of TenneT management, said he looks forward to expanding the offshore capacity in the coming months.

“And that brings the German government’s offshore expansion targets within reach,” Hartman said.

In mid-2010, the grid operator TenneT placed the order for the BorWin2 offshore grid connection with a consortium comprising Siemens and the Italian cable specialist Prysmian. In all, Siemens is realizing five North Sea grid link-ups for TenneT: HelWin1 (576 MW) and HelWin2 (690 MW) off Heligoland, BorWin2 (800 MW) and BorWin3 (900 MW) off Borkum, and SylWin1 (864 MW) off Sylt. The first four platforms-HelWin1 and HelWin2, BorWin2 and SylWin1-are to commence commercial operation in rapid succession between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

In April, Siemens won the order for the fifth grid connection in the North Sea., BorWin3, in a consortium with Petrofac. It is scheduled to go online in 2019.

Once commissioned, the grid connections installed by Siemens will have a total transmission capacity of more than 3.8 GW.

For the installation, the platform was towed into position directly above the substructure, which Siemens had installed in the North Sea 39 meters deep at that point, in 2013. This substructure consists of six steel pilings of up to 2.5 meters in diameter and with a wall thickness of 8 centimeters, anchored some 50 meters deep in the seabed. With a length of up to 83.5 meters, these pilings are only 10 meters shorter than the Statue of Liberty, including its base. Once the platform is aligned immediately above the substructure, the two parts must be meshed perfectly with each other. This is the most critical part of the installation; it calls for a very calm sea and cannot be done in poor weather. Once this has been achieved, the platform is raised using a hydraulic device in an activity known as “jacking up.” To protect it against giant waves, the platform is installed 20 meters above sea level.

BorWin2 is designed for decades of operation in the rugged North Sea. The platform is equipped with a helipad and was built under contract to Siemens by Nordic Yards at its shipyard in Warnemàƒ¼nde. The shipyard has been contracted by Siemens to fabricate three HVDC platforms in all. At 12,000 tons, the BorWin2 platform weighs more than 20 loaded and fully tanked Airbus A380 super airliners. With a length of 72 meters and a width of 54 meters, its surface area is more than half the size of a soccer field. The platform’s seven decks, spanning a total height of 25 meters, house not only all the technology and equipment required for HVDC transmission, but also living quarters.

Up to 100 employees at a time will be active on the platform for the next phase of the project in the North Sea. They will first re-open the doors and panels previously welded closed for transportation and remove other transport safety fixtures and ballast weights. Then they will commission the maritime systems such as the position lights and radio installations and start the air conditioning and water treatment systems. A self-propelled jack-up platform-a kind of mobile logistics and accommodation island-will provide on-site catering and living quarters for the crew.

The platforms are fully automated and, once commissioned, the systems can be monitored and controlled from land, with cameras’ and sensors’ providing a complete overview of the current operating status. The crews’ quarters on the platform can be used when maintenance work is required. Siemens has been contracted by TenneT for maintenance of the grid connection for an initial five years.


CG to supply more than 1 million smart meters to Iberdrola

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Avantha Group Co. CG closed a contract worth 30 million euros with Spanish multinational electric utility Iberdrola to supply more than 1 million ZIV smart meters in a year.

The order includes single-phase and three-phase meters.

Europe’s installation base for smart meters is expected to rise sharply and hit 180 million by 2020 just as the Asian market will gain significant traction. While Spain continues its dominance as an active market in 2014, large-scale deployments in the U.K., Germany and France will bring in the momentum by late 2015.

A significant advantage for CG in the Spanish market has been the regulatory framework in the country, which mandates that 70 percent of the analog meters are replaced by 2016 and 100 percent by 2018. ZIV, the world’s main PRIME meter supplier, is uniquely positioned to benefit from this regulation by collaborating closely with the distribution utilities and helping them achieve the goal on time.

ZIV was awarded significant contracts this year from major European utilities: Energias de Portugal and Gas Natural Fenosa with a total of more than 2 million meters. In addition, ZIV received 10 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) pilot projects on three continents.


National Grid Saudi Arabia selects Doble Engineering to help grid infrastructure reliability

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National Grid Saudi Arabia has contracted with Doble Engineering Co. to advance the capacity and reliability of its electric power grid. The terms and details of this agreement will not be disclosed.

“Improving the reliability of the electric power grid is our No. 1 priority,” said Mohammed Al Muaili, manager of the technical support department, grid maintenance business unit and head of the transmission reliability program of National Grid Saudi Arabia. “To do this, we needed to partner with an organization that has the deep knowledge and global experience to help us support increasing demand and to maintain a clear understanding of asset health at all times.”

National Grid Saudi Arabia and Doble will work together to perform an asset health review of nearly 1,000 transmission transformers. The project will use time-based and predictive maintenance philosophies to enhance grid reliability by detecting and managing problems early.

This partnership also includes the review of testing and maintenance practices, looking for the cause of historic failures and a comprehensive study of National Grid Saudi Arabia’s in-house electrical insulating oil laboratories.

Doble will bring an integrated, experienced team to work with National Grid Saudi Arabia’s chemists and field-testing electrical engineers for the specialized consulting contract. The program will support electrical testing, laboratory testing and diagnostics.

The Saudi government has announced plans to invest $35.7 billion in water and electricity projects in 2014 alone. The direct financial commitment of the Saudi Arabian government will enable the continued enhancement of Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure.


Guyana completes interconnection

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by David Casallas, BNAmericas

Guyana Power and Light (GPL) recently completed the interconnection of transmission systems Demerara and Berbice.

“This milestone has been decades in the making and has been finally achieved after many technical challenges were overcome,” the state-owned company said in a statement.

Contractor China National Machinery Import and Export Corp. carried out the project, which will allow GPL to transport power from generation facilities in Demerara to Berbice.

Available generation capacity in Demerara and Berbice now is 101 MW, and peak demand is 95 MW.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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