LineVision, a Dutch climate tech company that works with utilities to deliver grid flexibility, security and resilience, is partnering with Avangrid, a sustainable energy company, and its utility subsidiary New York State Electric and Gas on a pilot project designed to increase capacity on transmission lines operated by the utility in New York state.
According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), real-life demonstrations in the form of pilot programs are necessary to identify specific local technical challenges and optimize designs. Program success would result in utilities being able to deploy advanced grid technologies throughout the state, which could maximize the amount of power that can flow safely through the existing system, reduce grid congestion without the need for additional transmission capacity, and speed integration of renewable energy resources.
As part of the project, LineVision will install noncontact LiDAR sensors on two of the company’s overhead transmission lines. They will monitor one line running from Elma in Erie County to Strykersville in Wyoming County, and another from Warsaw to Perry in Wyoming County.
With the aim of reducing grid congestion, advanced monitoring of overhead transmission lines will provide real-time data about safe places within the existing transmission infrastructure where additional power can flow.
Electric transmission lines can safely carry only a certain amount of energy. Although lines are traditionally operated using “static” line ratings that calculate energy capacity by using conservative, fixed values for assumed weather conditions, the amount transmission lines can safely carry is variable.
The information provided by LineVision’s monitoring during this groundbreaking project will produce real-time data based on current conditions, which should allow for more flexibility in safely increasing the amount of energy being transmitted. By providing “dynamic” line ratings that establish a powerline’s capacity limits based on real-time properties like sag, temperature and the weather forecast, monitoring generates more information for grid operators. With that information in hand, they can then increase the carrying capacity of transmission lines accordingly without having to make large grid upgrades.
The information gleaned by monitoring may also enable the utility to link renewable energy resources with New York’s electrical grid, which will hasten renewable energy adoption in order to reach the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals.
Funding for the project comes from Round Two of NYSERDA’s Future Grid Challenge program, which seeks a cost-effective and scalable method to maximize the integration of renewable resources into the transmission system. The program itself is in answer to a recommendation from the Department of Public Service order released in January 2022 regarding the deployment of advanced transmission and distribution technologies for improved transmission. It supports New York’s goal of achieving 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
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