NYISO Opens Smart Control Center

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) this April replaced its 44-year-old primary power control center with a state-of-the-art facility in Rensselaer County that is outfitted with digital monitoring technologies and harnesses grid control technologies installed in the operator’s June 2013–completed smart grid project.

The $75 million Department of Energy (DOE)–funded smart grid initiative, conducted in partnership with eight transmission-owning utilities and power authorities, deploys phasor measurement units that allow the grid operator to detect irregularities, predict problems, and take corrective action. It relays system conditions at a rate of 60 times per second (360 times faster than before) and includes capacitor banks to improve transmission system efficiency by reducing line losses. The new primary control center helps integrate and process this significantly higher volume of data.

The 64,000-square-foot (ft2) facility features a 2,300-ft2 video wall (Figure 5)—the largest of its kind in North America—that captures more than 3,000 live status points presenting key electric system operations data and information. The former control center in Guilderland, built in 1969, will now serve as backup.

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5. A connecting wall. The New York Independent System Operator’s new 64,000-ft2 primary power control center captures more than 3,000 live status points presenting key electric system operations and data information to enhance grid reliability and support smart grid efforts. Courtesy: NYISO

According to NYISO, the $38 million facility also enables improved integration of renewable power by deploying resource management tools such as wind forecasts, meteorological conditions, and generation output data. The DOE said in a statement that the new control center gives NYISO and neighboring grid control areas a “far more expansive and in-depth view of the power grid.”

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)