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GE smart grid technology lets two New York electricity systems communicate


December 16, 2009
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{mosimage}Two northeastern US power grids, in New Jersey and New York City, are now talking to each other and dispatching energy using GE smart grid technology and capital. Three variable frequency transformers are converting up to 315 MW of electricity – enough for up to 300,000 homes – from the power system in New Jersey and feeding it to New York City.

The technology kickoff was celebrated during a dedication ceremony at
the 900-MW Linden cogeneration power plant owned by GE Energy Financial
Services. It follows three years of planning, design, construction and
testing.

In what GE says is the largest application, the rotary-type
transformers help control the intersection of the electrical demand
centers, the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) transmission system
and the New York City section of the NYISO grid, which are connected by
an upgraded cable buried 60 feet below the Arthur Kill waterway. The
technology reduces the need for power plants within the city.

The variable frequency transformers provide a control path between
electrical grids, permitting power exchanges that weren’t previously
possible, says GE.

GE expects power will most often flow from New Jersey to New York, but
economics and other factors could at times favour a reverse flow of
power: from New York City to PJM. The company has commissioned PJM to
study the transmission upgrades required for enabling such a reverse
flow.