As part of the Obama Administration’s broader efforts to strengthen critical energy infrastructure and build a stronger, more reliable power grid, the Energy Department today recognized the completion of New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) smart grid and control center project in Rensselaer, New York. Today, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman joined with public and private sector partners in New York to dedicate a new grid operations control center and highlight how Recovery Act-supported investments have strengthened the NYISO system’s overall reliability and resiliency.
“A smarter and stronger electric grid will help save consumers money, strengthen our energy security and build a more sustainable, cleaner energy future,” said Assistant Secretary Hoffman. “The New York Independent System Operator’s smart grid project represents a critical investment in the resiliency and efficiency of our power grid, while giving utilities the tools they need to make sure local communities and businesses have access to affordable and reliable electricity.”
With support from the Recovery Act, the Energy Department partnered with utilities across the United States to deploy sophisticated grid sensors – known as synchrophasors – that monitor the flow of electricity with unprecedented precision and provide continuous and near-real-time information on the grid’s health and security. These measurements allow system operators and owners to identify and respond to potential disturbances quickly and effectively – improving overall grid reliability, safeguarding against power outages and enabling faster restoration of power.
Leveraging a $38 million Recovery Act investment, NYISO and eight transmission owners deployed new synchrophasors and smart grid technologies across the state. The project installed new transmission capacitors to increase the ability of grid operators to regulate transmission voltages and advanced software and tools that help NYISO engineers conduct extensive and detailed system modeling and analysis. The new control center will give NYISO and neighboring grid control areas a far more expansive and in-depth view of the power grid.
Broadly, the Energy Department is committed to working with utilities and state and local governments to build a more reliable, resilient and secure electric grid, including giving grid operators and owners better insight into the power grid. The Department worked with utilities across the country to increase the number of synchrophasors five-fold – from less than 200 in 2009 to over 1,700 today. In September 2013, the Energy Department announced up to $9 million to support the development of new software applications that will help grid owners and operators respond quickly to unusual grid conditions and improve day-to-day grid reliability.