NYPA offers remote monitoring of utility assets to customers

March 3, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 3, 2021

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently announced the availability of an asset health monitoring service that will enable centralized management of power plants, substations and power lines for use by its power supply customers, including municipal utilities, cooperatives 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.

“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 said.

 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 system MED personnel of any irregularities through alerts.

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 a myriad of digital tools, one being GE Digital’s analytics software, which 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 Authority said.

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.

Traditional asset management practices rely on manual processes, institutional knowledge, and scheduled inspections and analysis, NYPA noted. “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.

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