The New York State Smart Grid Consortium, a public-private partnership devoted to statewide implementation of the smart grid, has released a white paper that articulates long-range objectives for grid modernization in New York State that support the bold initiatives Governor Andrew Cuomo recently outlined in his annual State of the State speech. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the paper also urges for a coordinated approach to harden the state's infrastructure and modernize the power system, which in turn will support the recommendations offered by the New York State 2100 Commission.
"As Hurricane Sandy has shown us, there has never been a stronger incentive to invest in hardening our energy infrastructure and deploy innovative smart grid technologies that will make New York's energy system more robust, resilient and adaptable," said Robert B. Catell, Chairman of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium. "Our findings both reflect and support Governor Cuomo's priorities for an innovative electric vehicle infrastructure, the expanded integration of renewable energy into the state's energy system, and a coordinated effort to modernize the state's aging infrastructure to meet evolving consumer demands for increased reliability."
With extreme weather events occurring more frequently, it is clear that New York's electric infrastructure needs to become more resilient. The NYSSGC white paper outlines the innovative efforts currently underway, some of which include smart grid projects that analyze conditions in real-time and self-heal in the event of a system disturbance. By enhancing situational awareness operators can better anticipate and recover from severe storms, but the grid itself will have the capability to automatically detect, isolate and respond to disturbances to that the flow of power to consumers is consistent and reliable. The white paper offers three key goals of grid modernization for New York:
- Enhance the situational awareness and control of the grid.
- Improve the grid's 'self-healing' capability.
- Provide more information and tools that help the consumer better manage their electricity usage.
"The analysis as part of the white paper we commissioned demonstrates the achievable objectives and tangible benefits to the consumer that grid modernization throughout New York can provide," added Catell. "Despite the long-term ability to reduce costs, grid modernization is a complicated process requiring careful deployment and assessment of new approaches. Through our collaboration of energy providers, technology leaders, and research institutions, as well as with the leadership of Governor Cuomo and his administration, a coordinated smart grid effort will create a more flexible, efficient, and resilient grid to fully support New York's ambitious energy goals and ensure we are prepared for both future challenges and opportunities."
Composed of New York's major utilities, operators, industry, academia, government and end-users, the NYSSGC commissioned the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to conduct in-depth member interviews, research and analysis, to outline the current status of smart grid projects and the opportunities and challenges for the future of New York State. By harnessing the collective efforts of key stakeholders to implement an electric power system that is efficient, flexible, and reliable, while simultaneously facilitating renewable resources, the efforts of NYSSGC and its members will not only ensure that New York is better prepared for future storms, but that a smarter grid will reduce energy costs and give more control to the consumer.