Equipment on the grid is often controlled manually. This requires the grid operator to contact a generating station or substation or dispatch a field crew to actuate a switch or adjust a setting. In a modern grid, advanced controls and automated response strategies will increase system performance and efficiency. New York’s utilities and the NYISO have initiated several projects that will enhance the control of the grid.
The NYISO and New York Transmission Owners are installing advanced capacitors that will provide 8000 MVARs of reactive power. The capacitor banks will improve the efficiency of the state’s bulk transmission system by reducing the amount of electricity that is lost when carried over long distances, thus reducing electricity costs in New York State approximately $9 million per year.
Click for more details on Phasor Measurement Unit Network for New York
Similarly, O&R is using its virtual SCADA system to improve the efficiency of the distribution system. The system processes data gathered from many sources, including geographic information systems, weather services, outage management systems and EMSs. After evaluating distribution system conditions, the system dispatches control signals that automatically manage voltage levels by turning capacitor banks on or off, and by automatically adjusting other voltage control devices, such as regulators and transformer load tap changers. In the optimum efficiency mode, the controls are aimed at reducing line losses, minimizing voltage levels for conservation voltage reductions, and improving power factor to lower needs for reactive power. In maximum capacity mode, which is operated during peak load conditions, the control signals adjust voltage and VAR levels to enable the system to serve higher levels of demand.
Click for more details on Orange & Rockland Utilities Smart grid Deployment Project
ConEd is installing 100 underground “smart” switches on distribution feeders in Queens. These switches will allow ConEd to quickly isolate a fault, reducing the number of customers impacted by an outage.
Click for more details on Con Edison’s Modernized Distribution System Demonstration