NYPA Head Pledges ‘Most Advanced’ Utility
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — New York Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones says the state-run company will be the “most innovative and advanced utility in the U.S. in a very short period” due to massive investments and its commitment to facilitate the remaking of the industry in the state.
New York has embarked on the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative to transition to cleaner and more distributed generation. NYPA’s five-year strategic plan was written in the context of REV, he said.
That means a revamping of operating procedures and technologies that can accommodate distributed resources. “As we move into this REV world, we have to be sure that all this generation and transmission infrastructure works in synchronicity with the advent of distributed resources,” Quiniones said. “… Our grid has to be connected and smart and optimized and the only way to do that is to digitize it and use big-data analytics.”
NYPA has 16 power plants and 1,400 circuit miles of transmission, including one-third of the state’s high voltage system. It serves 51 small municipal and rural cooperatives.
One project now underway is the retrofit of the Massena substation, which Quiniones said will result in “the most advanced substation of its size in this country. It will be microprocessor-based, fiber optic-based; it will provide unparalleled situational awareness and operational flexibility.”
Last year, NYPA built a 15-MW microgrid on Rikers Island in New York City, which captures waste heat from the facility and runs parallel and synchronous to the utility system. It can island in the event of another city-wide power interruption, such as during Superstorm Sandy. This is intended to be the first of several microgrids NYPA will build.
NYPA is acting as a facilitator with vendors SolarCity and SunEdison to install solar panels at the 698 school districts in the state. “I predict there will be a very fast ramp up of solar in our public schools,” Quiniones said.