NYPA grid lab studies how to integrate renewables onto transmission grid

The New York Power Authority’s new Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe) is driving cost reductions and operational benefits right out of the gate. 

Last month, the lab embarked on its first protection and performance study for the Moses Adirondack Advanced Power Flow Control Project to look for ways NYPA can more effectively leverage upstate wind and hydro generation. 

The project will do this through the installation of distributed flexible alternating current transmission system (D FACTS) devices, which can push and pull power from congested lines to underused lines to relieve congestion along NYPA’s north south corridor.

“NYPA has developed an industry leading R&D facility to support efforts like the Moses Adirondack Advanced Power Flow Control project,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Given the project’s potential to not only bring more renewable resources onto the New York State grid but also to reduce costs for the state and ratepayers, AGILe’s testing capabilities are critical to ensure this system is deployed quickly and reliably in support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and the Green New Deal.”

Located at NYPA’s White Plains Office, AGILe allows NYPA teams and external collaborators to evaluate the impact of new technologies on the bulk electric system before they are deployed on the grid. This is enabled by AGILe’s powerful digital real time simulators, which use a detailed digital model of the statewide electric system to run hardware-in-the-loop simulations. By running modeling scenarios, NYPA engineers can determine if new hardware will have any unanticipated impacts on system operation and optimize equipment settings before installation. Prior to AGILe, external vendors were used to perform such studies, which could be costly and take up to a year to complete. By developing these capabilities in house, not only does NYPA better manage its costs and testing timeframes, but NYPA teams also benefit from the cumulative learnings from running studies themselves, continually building the organization’s growth and expertise.

Testing will occur in two phases between February and June 2019. Phase one protection studies consist of software tests to determine the relay protection schemes for use with the D FACTS technology. Starting in April, the phase two hardware in the loop testing will be performed. This involves physically connecting relays to the AGILe real-time simulators to test device performance using accurate power system models for the Moses Adirondack region – including models of the D FACTS devices, relay settings and line specifications. Between 10,000 and 30,000 simulations of various fault scenarios will be executed under different grid conditions to assess the effectiveness of the various relaying schemes during operation of the D FACTS devices.

“This project underscores the benefits of the AGILe lab to NYPA’s organization and its customers,” said Ahad Esmaeilian, NYPA smart grid systems engineer. “We’re not only realizing cost and time savings on the studies themselves, but we’re also proving technology that will add benefits for NYPA operations, reduce the cost of energy for customers across the state, and cut CO2 emissions through the use of clean, renewable power from northern New York.”

NYPA owns and operates approximately one”‘third of New York’s high”‘voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA’s three large hydroelectric generation facilities and Independent wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy to New York State’s power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,300 megawatts of hydroelectric power and about 700 megawatts, or more than a third, of New York State”‘generated wind energy to the grid.


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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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