NYPA Launches Study to Assess Potential Impact Of Climate Change On Its Operations

August 17, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
August 17, 2021

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will study the long-term effects of climate change on its physical power generation and transmission assets and system operations, NYPA said on Aug. 5.

The research, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy science and engineering research center, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), aims to inform NYPA’s risk and expenditure planning and strengthen its resilience against all hazards, including major weather events.

The study will be conducted by Argonne. NYPA noted that Argonne is known as a world leader in creating hyperlocal climate model simulation datasets and as having the most detailed climate projections available in the U.S.

For the study, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers will use state-of-the-art climate and infrastructure system modeling techniques, and one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, to determine the risks an ever-changing climate may pose to NYPA’s infrastructure and operating systems.

Researchers will identify and quantify the potential impacts of climate change on NYPA’s critical facilities, assets and equipment, and produce a system-wide assessment of location-specific climate risks overlaid onto NYPA’s energy system infrastructure. Argonne’s experts will also develop a climate resiliency plan that will inform how NYPA mitigates any climate-related potential risks. The study’s planned simulations will use three different global climate models and two different greenhouse gas emission scenarios which are designed to capture much of the modeling and planning uncertainties associated with climate change projections.

Study results are expected in the spring.

The analysis is part of a multi-year sustainability plan outlining steps NYPA needs to take to enhance its long-term environmental, social and governance performance across the authority. The study is the first phase of a four-year climate adaptation and resilience assessment.

A second phase in 2023 will assess the social and economic impacts of climate change on NYPA’s customers, communities and other stakeholders, and identify strategies to support regional and community adaptation and resilience planning efforts.

NYPA as a power system infrastructure owner and operator will conduct quantitative climate-informed risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities. The study will also inform the appropriate design and operational standards and specifications of NYPA’s customer solutions projects such as energy efficiency, solar, storage and electric vehicle charging stations.

In the early stages of the project, CGEP will provide input on the proposed approach from Argonne for applying climate and energy infrastructure models in the research. In this part of the process, CGEP will contribute its expertise in integrating global energy systems and climate models. CGEP will also contribute expertise in scenario design for energy systems analysis under uncertainty during the modeling planning phase. After the initial analysis is complete, CGEP will serve on the results review panel, providing feedback on the outputs, insights, and any corresponding recommendations.

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