IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020 - 25

will be prudent, the necessary capability areas were first recognized and the technical solutions under those areas were
then identified. This approach allows for the development of
the most appropriate business, organizational, or technical
response to the changing utility industry landscape. The following sections of this article provide additional details of
these projects.

Communications Backbone
The Communications Backbone project aims to deploy a
robust, secure, and scalable communications network controlled by the utility (as opposed to third-party providers)
and will achieve the following objectives:
✔✔ replace the legacy point-to-point circuits
✔✔ accommodate the data flows resulting from the increasing number of intelligent electronic devices deployed through the smart G&T initiative
✔✔ enable the advanced capabilities of the Integrated
Smart Operating Center (iSOC), a separate project to
be described in more detail later in this article.
The existing legacy communications technologies offered
by third-party service providers are becoming obsolete and
phased out by the carriers. The support and maintenance of
such legacy service offerings (e.g., telephone lines and 56k
circuits) are becoming more challenging and costlier, thereby
forcing users to replace such technologies. Migrating to a
new communications backbone is projected to be the most
cost-effective solution in the long run.
The project also enables the following applications:
✔✔ phasor measurement unit (PMU)-based wide-area monitoring, protection, and control applications
✔✔ more advanced protective relaying schemes, such as
differential line protection using a direct fiber connection or double-ended traveling wave protection and
fault location
✔✔ the large-scale deployment of field sensors such as dissolved gas monitoring systems, temperature sensors,
humidity sensors, weather stations, infrared (IR) cameras/sensors, condition monitoring systems, generator
partial discharge (PD) monitors, vibration monitoring
systems, and alarm monitoring systems
✔✔ real-time video surveillance used for physical security
or other monitoring applications
✔✔ real-time drone footage transmission.
Given outlined requirements, a combined fiber and microwave backbone network is being deployed to accommodate

figure 2. An aerial installation of optical ground wire.
(Source: NYPA; used with permission.)

operational and business data communication needs. The
fiber portion consists of a hybrid solution using utility-owned
optical ground wire, which is being deployed along major
transmission corridors (see Figure 2) as well as leased existing unutilized fiber from other providers, typically referred to
as dark fiber. This leased dark fiber portion is fully dedicated
to the utility's use, thus providing all of the functional advantages of an owned solution while minimizing deployment
costs and optimizing investments. The microwave portion
of the network is being constructed as a diverse backup system or a primary system at locations with lower bandwidth
requirements or where existing dark fiber is not available
and new fiber deployment is not economically feasible. This
would be the case in regions where NYPA operates generation assets but does not own transmission infrastructure. The
newly constructed microwave system will be integrated with
the existing microwave infrastructure, which, in turn, is also
being upgraded to meet the desired performance characteristics. Table 1 lists some details of the Communications Backbone project implementation.

Continuous Protection
System Monitoring
Continuous protection system monitoring (CPSM) is an uninterrupted ac current and voltage monitoring system of digital
relays that complies with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) PRC-005-2 Protection System
Maintenance requirements. The current and voltage signals
measured by microprocessor-based protection relays will be
continuously monitored and verified by comparison to an

table 1. NYPA's Communications Backbone project implementation details.
Optical Ground Wire (OPGW)

Dark Fiber Lease

Microwave

* 100-Gb/s bandwidth
* 1,080+ km of utility-owned OPGW
installation; 48-strand fiber
* Currently 11% complete; construction
scheduled for completion in 2021

* 1,610+ km of leased dark fiber
* Currently 40% complete
* Construction scheduled for completion
in 2020

* 300-Mb/s bandwidth
* 400+ km of microwave coverage
* 28 microwave towers
* 65 microwave dishes

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ieee power & energy magazine 	

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020

Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020 - Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020 - Cover2
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2020 - Cover4
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