NYPA upgrades hydropower control rooms

30 August 2018

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is upgrading the control rooms at its St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project in Massena in St. Lawrence County and at its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Schoharie County to include large-scale, digital video walls that will allow operators to view and rapidly assess data about how the plants are running.

“Updating and standardizing our control rooms is part of NYPA’s Smart Generation and Transmission initiative,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “By improving data visibility and control room efficiencies, operators can assess and respond faster, ultimately boosting power reliability for NYPA customers across the state.”

The upgrades, scheduled to be completed at Blenheim-Gilboa by the end of the year and at St. Lawrence in 2019, are an essential component of NYPA’s 2020 Strategic Vision to become the first end-to-end digital utility in North America. The control room upgrades center around the installation of a CineMassive video wall system – the same system used at NYPA’s Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC) in White Plains. This technology provides centralized viewing of data originating from many sources and is easily customizable.

“The software and overall digitization allows us to set up presets for specific conditions that we can quickly access with the hit of a few buttons,” said Kamran Khan, NYPA project engineer. “By standardizing across all of the NYPA sites and increasing access to relevant information, we can better coordinate both on-site and with the iSOC for day-to-day operations.”

In addition to the display upgrades, the layout of each of the control rooms will be redesigned to optimize ergonomics – ranging from workstation setup and furniture design to local lighting and environmental controls. The open space workstations foster a collaborative atmosphere and a new, innovation-friendly way of working for NYPA’s engineers and electricity experts.

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