Enhancing Situational Awareness - NYS SmartGrid Consortium

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Situational awareness is the ability to know what is happening on the grid and to anticipate future problems in order to take effective actions. Enhancing situational awareness will help operators better anticipate and recover from severe storms, as well as integrate larger amounts of distributed and renewable generation. There are two primary components to situational awareness – grid visibility and analytic tools that support decision making.

Today, transmission and distribution operators “see” what is happening through sensors located throughout the grid, by receiving phone calls from customers and by dispatching field crews. Enhancing the visibility of the grid occurs by relying less on customer calls and field crews and by installing additional and more precise sensors. New York State is deploying a variety of technologies that will significantly enhance the visibility of the grid.

Phasor Measurement Units

Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) are one type of new, high precision sensor. PMUs measure current and voltage on the grid 30 times per second, which is much more frequent than the sensors that are presently installed. The NYISO is leading a $74 million federally funded project to install 39 PMUs at strategic locations across the state. The PMU network will be in place by June 2013. Eventually, the New York PMU network will connect with PMU networks in New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, and Ontario, Canada to create broader situational awareness throughout the eastern United States and Canada. The enhanced wide-area visibility that the PMU networks provide will improve reliability by enabling grid operators to better see threats and vulnerabilities in the region. The network will also increase the utilization of existing lines and enable the integration of renewable generation.

Click for more details on NYISO Phasor Measurement Unit Network for New York

Remote Monitoring Sensors

As part of its $280 million, federally funded Smart Grid Deployment project, the Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd) is equipping its 26,000 network transformers with remote-monitoring sensors that provide operators with a near real-time readout of loading, temperature, pressure, and oil level. If any parameter exceeds operating limits, crews can be dispatched quickly to check the transformer, correct any problems, or even remove the unit from service if necessary. An operator can also remotely switch out the transformer. This remote-monitoring capability improves system reliability and asset management.

Click for more details on Con Edison’s Modernized Distribution System Demonstration

Model-centric Approach

Orange and Rockland (O&R) is adopting a “model-centric” approach to modernizing its distribution system. O&R has developed a detailed model of its distribution system, which includes 365,000 assets (wire, transformer, switches, reclosers, cut outs, etc.). This model is connected to the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, where it receives input from breakers and distribution automation devices in real time to refine the model and improve situational awareness on a much more granular level. The linking of the system model with SCADA creates an enhanced real-time “virtual SCADA” system. O&R is working with Brookhaven National Lab and Central Hudson Gas and Electric to create a unified model of the transmission and distribution system. This could ultimately expand O&R’s concept of a modernized distribution system to a modernized electric delivery system. The virtual SCADA system not only provides greater visualization of the distribution system, but it also provides an analytical platform for operational planning purposes.

Click for more details on Orange & Rockland Utilities Smart grid Deployment Project

Two way Communications through Advanced Metering

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and ConEd have initiated pilot projects to install advanced meters. LIPA is currently installing advanced meters at 2500 residential and commercial customer sites as part of its $12,496,047 federally funded Smart Energy Corridor project. The advanced meters will feature two-way communication so that operators will know which customers have service in real time.

Click for more details on LIPA 110 Corridor Demonstration Project

In addition to enhanced visibility, transmission and distribution operators need the tools to interpret data, anticipate events, and recommend the most effective actions to implement. New York’s utilities and the NYISO have initiated several significant activities to implement analytic tools for decision support.

New Energy Management System

The NYISO is pioneering the use of PMU data in real-time by feeding the data directly into their new Energy Management System (EMS). The new EMS is part of the $35.5 million control center that the NYISO is constructing in Rensselaer County. The NYISO plans to develop and install advanced visualization displays and analytical tools to enable operators to interpret and use PMU data. This will provide operators with greater visibility of power flows and voltages in real time.

Click for more details on New NYISO Control Center

Storm Outage Prediction

O&R is using its enhanced real-time “virtual SCADA” for storm outage prediction. Prior to and when a storm first impacts a region, the O&R system collects data from a number of sources and forecasts the total number of impacted customers. This forecast is valuable for mobilizing resources for storm recovery and will result in quicker, more efficient recovery.

Click for more details on Orange & Rockland Utilities Smart grid Deployment Project


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