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New York Power Authority offers remote monitoring of utility assets to customers to reduce downtime, increase productivity


Wed, Feb 24th 2021 12:10 pm

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the availability of an asset health monitoring service that enables centralized management of power plants, substations and power lines for use by its power supply customers, including municipal utilities, coops and manufacturers. The Massena Electric Department (MED) in Northern New York will be the first customer to pilot the expanded services of NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC), which will deploy the same set of analytics that are used to monitor and help prevent equipment failures and outages of NYPA’s power assets to monitor the local municipal utility’s assets.

A press release stated, “These expanded digital utility services enable NYPA, along with its customers, to make continued progress in meeting New York state’s clean energy goals and creating a more resilient, reliable and flexible energy system.”

“NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operation Center has been invaluable in helping the Power Authority actively evaluate its electrical assets and consequently make smart and efficient asset management decisions,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “Many of our customers can benefit from remote monitoring to reduce downtime, increase productivity and improve situational awareness. Together with our customers, we can set a new standard in utility asset management that will fast-forward the digital transformation of the power and utility industry and help modernize the state’s energy system.”

In the case of MED, NYPA will pilot the service and monitor select substation assets, including a transformer and two battery banks. The pilot aims to reduce the cost of asset management and minimize business disruptions caused by unanticipated asset failures. NYPA will design and install sensors to identify “bad actor” occurrences and notify MED personnel of any irregularities through alerts.

“This is an exciting project for Massena Electric,” said Andrew McMahon, MED superintendent. “As a host community to NYPA, we have a long history of working together on both routine and complex problems. This monitoring solution is simple but it also gives us far more data and insight into our equipment than we have ever had. Our substation battery banks are a single point of potential failure and for us to be aware of impending problems will help us keep the lights on.”

NYPA’s iSOC system has more than 63,000 data points that currently monitor 283 power generation and transmission assets throughout the state. This monitoring helps identify problems and issues before they occur in an effort to prevent potential service outages and reduce repair and replacement costs. The state-of-the-art center uses myriad digital tools, one being GE Digital's analytics software, that oversee NYPA's 16 power plants and more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines.

Online monitoring of power plants, substations and transmission lines will increase plant efficiency and productivity, reduce unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs and minimize operational risks. The technology also will help advance Gov. Andrew Cuomo's climate and clean energy goals laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). That requires 70% of all electricity in New York come from renewable sources and that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced 40% by 2030. NYPA’s “VISION2030” strategic plan aligns with the CLCPA and emphasizes the importance of digital transformation and the importance of preserving the value of hydroelectric assets as we transform the power system and build New York state’s clean energy future.

The service is available to all municipal utilities, coops and manufacturing customers served by NYPA. NYPA is offering customers the ability to centrally manage specific asset health alarms and alerts, while maintaining current utility decision-making such as approving and scheduling maintenance and ordering parts.

The press added, “Traditional asset management practices rely on manual processes, institutional knowledge, and scheduled inspections and analysis. The industry, however, has continued to slowly move away from the pure decentralized approach as utilities invest in additional near-real-time monitoring, improved data quality and standardized analysis processes.”

NYPA plans to integrate and offer additional monitoring capabilities in the future, including a suite of sensors across multiple assets.

Learn more about NYPA’s iSOC. For information about signing up for iSOC asset monitoring services, including details and cost to participate, email [email protected].

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