New York Power Authority offers tours of its new digital energy center

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a host of political and energy players lauded the fully digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center

Dec 11th, 2017
Content Dam Elp Online Articles 2017 12 Nypa Digital Center Elp

New York Power Authority showed off its brand new digital command center at the company’s headquarters Monday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a host of political and energy players lauded the fully digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center. The facility known as the Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC) oversees operations and outputs from NYPA’s 16 power plants and more than 1,400 miles of transmission lines.

The command center is a key step in CEO Gil Quiniones' vow to make NYPA the nation’s first all-digital public power utility and “and sets a new standard in utility asset management,” he said Monday. “By using advanced data analysis to monitor all our assets simultaneously, we can continue to provide low-cost and reliable power while making smart and efficient operating decisions in real time.”

Gov. Cuomo also called it a major milestone in the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy focused on clean energy and smart grid technologies. The iSOC will analyze power generation performance and identify problems in advance to prevent potential outages, planners say.

“With the opening of this state of the art center, we are modernizing our state energy system and creating a more resilient, reliable and flexible power grid helping to grow our clean energy economy,” the New York governor said. “This hub keeps New York at the forefront of innovation while leading the nation in combating climate change through bold investments in clean energy technology, helping to secure a greener future for all.”

GE Digital is providing the predictive analytics software to forecast and hopefully prevent equipment failures and outages. NYPA plans to integrate additional monitoring capabilities on the GE Predix application platform in the future, according to the release.

“We applaud this tremendous step for NYPA as the authority leads the way for digital transformation in the power and utility industry. Our collaboration can serve as an example for how GE’s digital solutions are purpose built for industry, increasing efficiency and productivity in some of the most complex operations,” said Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital and Chief Digital Officer of GE. “Through a fully integrated approach to big data and analytics, our software solutions like Asset Performance Management are helping organizations like NYPA turn insights into action and make power affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.”

NYPA began using the system to monitor its 500-MW power plant in Queens in December 2016 and has now expanded its use to monitor all of its generation and transmission assets. Data is collected from more than 24,000 strategically deployed sensors embedded in equipment and analyzed for signs of normal aging. Data highlights are displayed in real time on an 81-foot video wall, where more than a dozen data screens draw attention to significant deviations. NYPA engineers can then promptly address potential issues with plant operations managers.

Also housed on the 25,000-square-foot all-digital floor will be NYPA’s New York Energy Manager (NYEM) and its Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), which uses “big data” analytics to simulate, develop, deploy and integrate the next-generation electric grid, further positioning New York State as a leader in electric grid research.

GE and NYPA first announced the agreement back in October 2016. At the GE Minds+Machines event in San Francisco exactly one year later, Quiniones said the three main disruptors for the grid as decentralization in the form of distributed renewable energy, electrification of every process in the grid operational chain and, last but not least, digitalization of those tools and processes.

“These three trends are really pushing and accelerating the transformation and disruption of the utility sector,” the NYPA CEO told the Minds+Machines keynote audience two months ago. “To become an end-to-end digital utility, every sector of the value chain must be digitalized.”

Many utility leaders know these disruptors are here, but he boasted that NYPA is acting on them by creating what he called three “digital hubs.” These hubs include something called New York Digital Management Center, which is creating digital twins of the buildings of NYPA’s customer, 10,000 so far with the goal of 20,000 by 2020.

Quiniones will be one of the featured keynote speakers at DistribuTECH 2018 next month in San Antonio. The January 23 keynote kicks off the event which runs Jan. 23-25 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

POWERGRID International is the supporting publication of DistribuTECH.

More in Test & Measurement