NYPA’s AGILe lab speeds up smart grid innovation

USA, New York: A New York state-owned utility leads the effort to establish a collaborative smart grid research, development and testing facility.



Image source: NYPA

USA, New York: A New York state-owned utility leads the effort to establish a collaborative smart grid research, development and testing facility.

Striving to become a fully digitalised utility, the New York Power Authority is exploring advanced innovative technologies and showing how it can effectively incorporate them into the state’s electricity grid.

The key to this effort has been the development and operation of the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), part of an overall infrastructure modernisation program intended to improve the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA’s) operational performance and efficiency.

With AGILe, NYPA has created a lab not only based on its own needs but also for others to use to develop and test new ideas, technologies and products before potential pilot field implementations or larger-scale deployments. NYPA has invited external collaborators, such as other utilities, universities and research institutions, to use the facility, infrastructure, equipment and data as a test bed for innovative technologies. As part of the initiative, the state-owned utility has partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to leverage its knowledge and expertise in the development and operation of laboratory facilities and also to obtain a better insight into the broader industry needs and future trends.

Currently, AGILe is a power systems laboratory with a simulation and testing facility. Targeted research areas are as follows: advanced modeling and simulation for T&D applications. cybersecurity testing, substation protection, automation and control, advanced sensor technologies, and power electronics controllers.

The lab also can perform more traditional offline grid simulation and data analysis tools, providing cutting-edge capabilities for research, analysis and development in the electric power industry. The lab will help to deliver, among other things, the following capabilities and outcomes: advanced modeling of power grid components, real-time simulations of New York state’s electrical system, hardware- and software-in-the-loop equipment testing, emulation and performance characterisation of power grid data communication schemes, automated controls to improve network resiliency, security, safety and efficiency, integration of large-scale renewable energy resources as well as distributed energy resources, and high level of situational awareness to enable optimal grid operation under various conditions.

Research labs have been gaining popularity with electric power utilities as an asset to help plan and prepare for the fast-changing landscape of the electricity industry.

NYPA’s vision expands beyond the technical and engineering aspects of a lab. It has created a collaborative research environment that brings people from utilities, academic institutions, technology vendors and research organisations together to work on common challenges and opportunities for the good of the industry.

Source: T&D World