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Avangrid pilot program will test ability to increase grid’s renewable energy capacity

Power lines (Photo provided by Avangrid)

(Provided file photo)

Power lines (Photo provided by Avangrid)

(Provided file photo)

Avangrid pilot program will test ability to increase grid’s renewable energy capacity

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A pilot program planned for Steuben and Wyoming counties may provide the ability for Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas to increase future renewable energy capacity on the existing electrical grid.

Avangrid, Inc., parent company of RG&E and NYSEG, will partner with LineVision, Inc. to deploy advanced monitoring of overhead transmission lines in the Hornell area in Steuben County.

By providing real-time data, the power companies may have the ability to reduce grid congestion and determine where additional power can safely flow through existing transmission infrastructure.

The data also could be helpful in linking more renewable energy resources into the state’s electrical grid.

Historically, electrical lines have used “static” line ratings that determine energy capacity based on conservative and fixed values for assumed weather conditions.

LineVision’s advanced monitoring will provide more flexibility for increasing energy flow based on actual conditions through dynamic line ratings (DLR). The DLR determine capacity limits by combining real-time properties such as sag, temperature and forecasted weather conditions.

The Hornell area was chosen for the pilot program because of current congestion on transmission lines.

As part of the project, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors on overhead transmission lines from Warsaw to Perry in Wyoming County and from Elma (Erie County) to Strykersville (Wyoming County).

Avangrid says the project will be fully operational by the end of January 2024 and will continue for 10 years.

“By multiple accounts, we must double the size of the power grid to have any hope of meeting critical climate goals,” Hudson Gilmer, CEO and co-founder of LineVision, said in a news release. “Our technology has helped our utility customers identify between 25 and 40 percent additional capacity on existing lines, which helps accelerate a transition to renewables.”

Funding was awarded through round two of NYSERDA’s Future Grid Challenge program, which is part of New York’s goal to achieve 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.

“We know that we have a critical role in building a smarter, more resilient network that will enable us to deliver clean energy to more customers,” said Patricia Nilsen, president of RG&E and NYSEG. “Investments in innovation like this are very exciting because it will benefit our customers in multiple ways.”

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