NYPA Approves $11.5 Million for Power Flow Control Project


New Technology Installations Help Integrate Upstate Renewables on the Statewide Grid

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees recently approved $11.5 million for implementation of the Advanced Power Flow Control Project on NYPA’s Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 transmission lines in northern New York.

The project aims to relieve congestion along NYPA’s north-south corridor and allow for upstate renewables (wind and hydro generation) to be accessible throughout the state. This will be accomplished though the installation of cutting-edge distributed flexible alternating current transmission system (D-FACTS) devices in the switchyard of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project. D-FACTS devices allow for real-time control of power flow on transmission lines by pushing and pulling power from congested lines to underutilized lines, unlocking excess capacity that exists on the grid.

“The Advanced Power Flow Control Project aligns with NYPA’s Smart Generation and Transmission Strategic Initiative by utilizing innovative new technology to optimize the operation of our transmission assets,” said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO and president of NYPA. “This technology directly supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal and helps drive a clean economy through the use of affordable, clean, renewable power from northern New York.”

Project studies and planning have been underway since 2018, and funding was approved last month. Market studies, performed using sophisticated General Electric Multi Area Production Simulation (GE-MAPS) software, determined the ideal location for NYPA to deploy the new D-FACTS technology.

“There are three major corridors that leave Zone D in northern New York, and after careful consideration Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 yielded the greatest value,” said Andrew Boulais, senior program director, transmission project management. “With the growing amount of wind generation in the region, that’s where the D-FACTS devices have the greatest impact — allowing NYPA to relieve congestion and push power from clean, renewable resources to the rest of the grid.”

Timing couldn’t be better. Existing outage work scheduled as part of the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, which is modernizing the Moses-Adirondack transmission lines, provides the window needed to install the D-FACTS devices without the need to schedule additional outages. Supporting infrastructure like disconnect switches, motor-operated disconnects and circuit switchers will also be installed, which will allow NYPA system operators additional control of the D-FACTS devices.

“The devices are modular and scalable, which means we can adapt how we implement the technology if we make changes or upgrades to the rest of the system,” Boulais said.

The implementation phase of the project will be kicking off next month with the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract. The EPC contract award process is scheduled to be finalized by spring 2020. Installation work will then begin in fall 2020, with the goal of completing installation, testing, commissioning and project closeout activities in the fourth quarter of 2021.

NYPA owns and operates approximately one-third of New York’s high-voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA’s three large hydroelectric generation facilities and wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy to New York State’s power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,200 megawatts of hydroelectric power and about 700 megawatts, or more than a third, of New York State-generated wind energy to the grid.

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate change program in the nation and puts the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy, including power generation, transportation, buildings, industry and agriculture.  The Governor’s program also establishes a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any state in the nation. The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates several of the Governor’s ambitious Green New Deal clean energy targets: installing nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035; six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025 and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. The CLCPA also calls for an orderly and just transition to clean energy, creating jobs while spurring a green economy. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, and 1,700% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012. The CLCPA also directs New York State's agencies and authorities to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, and to work toward a goal of investing 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.

For more information, visit www.nypa.gov