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Clean Energy Development

Smart Grid

Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland are moving to the forefront of grid automation technologies through a number of programs that are bringing the world’s oldest electrical distribution system to the leading edge of 21st century technology. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy through a 2009 grant, we have invested nearly $300 million in technologies that increase grid operators’ real-time visibility of grid conditions, improve operational flexibility, enhance reliability, and strengthen its systems. At the same time, these improvements enable customers and grid operators to more seamlessly integrate on-site distributed generation into the grid and make more effective use of demand-side management programs.

Specific improvements include:

  • Redesigned distribution networks in Manhattan by creating sub-networks that correspond with flood zones. This new configuration will reduce the number of customers affected by storm and heat-related outages and will speed restoration if service is affected. These designs mirror similar advancements in Brooklyn and Queens where smart switches were used to enhance reliability and network control. This provides operators with remote control capabilities for detecting and responding to system faults and provides equipment status, voltage and current data in real time. In the future, the system will automatically detect and respond to system faults.
  • New network configurations in Brooklyn and Queens allow interconnection between two networks and provide operational flexibility during system contingencies.
  • Newly designed, remotely controlled submersible switches will afford grid operators and storm restoration crews better visibility and enable more targeted operation of the distribution system.
  • New remote monitoring and predictive technologies allow grid operators to preemptively prevent impending asset failures. More than 13,000 sensors and transmitters have been installed on underground transformers throughout the system.
  • Four smart grid demonstrations integrated various elements including PV solar, battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, building management systems, and demand response technologies into the control room. These projects paved the way toward enhancing localized grid management through a visualization tool that enabled operators to see which resources could be drawn upon to alleviate constraints in a particular network.
  • Nearly 4,000 new communicating system meters give grid operators a real-time view of outage management across the system; 580 new remote-controlled switches enhance control and flexibility; and 400 new distribution capacitors support better service to customers under all conditions.
  • Installed as part of a U.S. Department of Energy grant awarded to New York ISO, new leading-edge synchrophasors will support regional grid-monitoring.
  • Advanced relay technology allows grid operators the ability to sense and respond to system disturbances more effectively than ever before.

These upgrades, along with others, are changing the way we operate the grid and are making the system more resilient, reliable, and safe for customers in and around New York City.