Argonne National Lab assesses climate change impacts on New York grid

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The Argonne National Laboratory has been tasked by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to conduct studies on how the state’s energy network is being affected by climate change.

Argonne National Laboratory will be partnering with the Electric Power Research Insititute (EPRI) and Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy to study the long-term effects of climate change on New York’s physical power generation, transmission assets and operations.

Researchers will use state-of-the-art climate and infrastructure system modeling techniques, and one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, to determine the risks climate change has or will have on NYPA’s infrastructure.

Three different global climate models and two different greenhouse gas emission scenarios designed to capture much of the modeling and planning uncertainties associated with climate change projections will be used.

The three research institutions will use lessons learned from the study to inform NYPA on how to strengthen the resilience of its grid

The study will also help NYPA to design customer solutions projects such as energy efficiency, solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging stations.

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Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said: “It’s imperative that NYPA assess the vulnerability and sensitivity of its generation and transmission systems to climate-driven risks such as increased flooding and extreme temperatures so we can prepare to stand up to these hazards and make smart investments in resiliency strategies.

The study is the first phase of a four-year climate adaptation and resilience assessment. The second phase in 2023 will assess the social and economic impacts of climate change on NYPA’s customers, communities and other stakeholders, and identify strategies to support regional and community adaptation and resilience planning efforts.

The studies are expected to help NYPA to simplify its transition to a 100% renewable energy-based grid.

Today, the utility produces 25% of New York State’s power and more than 80% of that quarter is clean, renewable hydropower.

EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor, added: “Meeting critical demand in an increasingly electrified economy means understanding and mitigating the impacts of severe weather on the energy system.

“By using modeling to link climate-related threats to energy system vulnerabilities, we can better evaluate measures that enhance resilience. We look forward to helping strengthen grid resilience through this important project.”