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The New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC), a public-private partnership devoted to statewide implementation of the smart grid, has issued an update on grid advancements that are currently under way throughout the region.

According to the consortium, some highlights of member-related activity during the first half of this year include the following:

- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) has installed 38 of 39 phasor measurement units (PMUs) at strategic locations throughout the state as part of a federal matching grant in the amount of $75 million it was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2010.

According to the NYSSGC, the PMU network will improve grid operators’ ability to more quickly detect irregularities, predict problems and take corrective action to maintain reliability, and will eventually connect to other regional networks to provide grid operators with broader situational awareness of grid conditions throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada.

- To date, Consolidated Edison Inc. has invested over $300 million to implement smart grid projects, including remote controlled switches and capacitors to improve the efficiency of the system.

- National Grid successfully deployed 5,000 smart meters as part of its early field trial for its smart grid pilot, now named Smart Energy Solutions Program, with an additional 10,000 customers in Spring 2013 through full meter deployment as approved by the Department of Public Utilities. The full pilot will commence in early 2014.

- The Brookhaven National Lab/Stony Brook University Smarter Grid Research, Innovation, Development, Demonstration, Deployment Center (SGRID3) responded to Hurricane Sandy through an SGRID3-led collaboration to develop a proposal for the use of microgrids to support greater resilience and faster recovery for Long Island Electric Grid.

In addition, the academic institutions are also collaborating with Orange and Rockland Utilities and Central Hudson Gas and Electric on modeling and simulation as a key part of building a smarter grid vision to withstand extreme weather.

- Professor Lei Wu of Clarkson University received a $400,000 Faculty Early CareerDevelopment (CAREER) award for smart grid research by the National Science Foundation. Wu will embark on a five-year project to develop a nationwide blueprint of electrical grid updates and develop algorithms to find favorable sites for and reduce the unpredictability of renewable energy facilities.

“In support of priorities outlined by Governor Cuomo as part of the New York Energy Highway Blueprint, our members are working toward a coordinated smart grid effort that will create a more flexible, efficient and resilient grid to fully support New York’s ambitious energy goals and ensure we are prepared for both future challenges and opportunities,” says James T. Gallagher, NYSSGC executive director.

“The progress so far this year illustrates the value of smart grid research and technologies to improve grid reliability, resilience and reduced electric power costs,” adds Gallagher. “While the public envisions the smart grid as the domain of utility companies and regulatory agencies, there are also a considerable number of other stakeholders contributing to the advancement of grid modernization.”

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