December 14, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Winner of New York-Israel Smart Energy Innovation Challenge to Make New York State's Power Grid More Reliable and Secure

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Governor Hochul Announces Winner of New York-Israel Smart Energy Innovation Challenge to Make New York State's Power Grid More Reliable and Secure
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New York Power Authority Collaborates with Tel-Aviv-Based Award Winner to Use Artificial Intelligence to Monitor Transmission Lines Improving Statewide Grid Security, Enabling Reliable Clean Power Delivery

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Photos Available Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the winner of the New York-Israel Smart Energy Innovation Challenge, a competitive award with a value of $1 million that enables New York State to partner with an Israeli company to develop an innovative energy technology that helps New York advance its clean energy agenda. Governor Hochul made the announcement on behalf of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest state public utility in the U.S., which identified Tel-Aviv-based Prisma Photonics as the contest winner. Prisma was awarded for its real-time transmission line issue detection system that will help improve grid safety, security and reliability while advancing the efficient delivery of clean power statewide. New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll and Israel's Consul General Asaf Zamir met in midtown Manhattan today to celebrate the award announcement.  

"Today two of the world's leading energy technology centers - New York and Israel - are coming together to develop new technologies that will benefit both parties as well as the global utility industry," said Governor Hochul. "New York State and Israel are working together through this smart energy challenge to develop solutions that will result in resilient, renewable and affordable energy systems. With the assistance of smart Israeli companies through innovative partnerships like this one, we are rapidly pursuing technologies with the potential to optimize our energy infrastructure and further develop a state-of-the-art grid that is equipped to deliver reliable, affordable, clean power statewide."  

Ambassador Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York, said, "It's very exciting to see an old and strong friendship like the one between Israel and New York produce cutting edge partnerships that actually modernize that relationship and produce great results for New Yorkers and Israelis. This partnership, under the Governor's leadership, and the continuation of this great annual energy technology competition, will keep New York and the State of Israel working together as we lead the world to a more sustainable future."

The groundbreaking technology will use optical fiber sensing and artificial intelligence to detect potentially disruptive activity on transmission lines. The Governor also announced today a second $1 million smart energy competition for 2022 calling for new energy innovators to apply for an award and encouraged New York's continued collaboration with innovative Israeli energy technology firms on creative energy solutions. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations — including this award — through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  

2021 Challenge Winner  

Prisma Photonics, a Tel-Aviv-based provider of smart monitoring solutions for physical infrastructure, was selected as the 2021 challenge winner through a competition for new utility related technologies jointly organized with the Israel Smart Energy Association (ISEA) and NYPA. NYPA and Prisma Photonics will collaborate on a research and development project to advance the functionality of Prisma Photonics' sensor free grid monitoring platform already installed through a pilot project on one of NYPA's transmission lines. These advancements will include integration of new, artificial intelligence-based, detection algorithms and a dashboard to provide real-time event notification and integration with other Authority operational data.  

NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "The Power Authority has realized important benefits from our previous relationships with Israeli firms by pursuing smart technologies of mutual interest and this latest venture will elevate us to a new level of detection to help maintain our power systems. Through this collaboration, we, together with Israel, will advance best practices in the energy industry and provide benefits for power delivery systems worldwide. The technology supported with this new partnership will employ artificial intelligence to augment our existing transmission asset sensor program, which has proven to be highly effective in identifying potentially costly issues and monitoring power flow and system performance."  

In early 2020, the Authority together with the ISEA issued the NYPA-Israel Smart Energy Challenge to solicit start-up technologies from companies headquartered in Israel that support New York's clean energy transition. The competition sought proposals from Israeli companies with expertise in energy efficiency and clean energy generation that wanted to work with New York's public utility to scale up their technology in pilot demonstration projects to meet the specific needs of power utilities operations. A second Smart Energy Innovation Challenge, announced today, will similarly be a $1 million competition that will allow NYPA to select another innovative company to help create significant advances in grid reliability, storage, sustainability and affordability, all of which benefit ratepayers, utilities and the environment.  

Doron Gover, Head of the NYPA-Israel Smart Energy Innovation Hub, said, "NYPA's collaboration with Israeli's innovative companies yields mutual benefit by introducing new solutions for commercial usage in large scale electric utilities. The challenge enables pilot installation of Prisma Photonics solutions in order to achieve significant advances in grid reliability, resilience, sustainability and affordability."  

The Prisma Photonics / NYPA partnership supports New York State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (the Climate Act), which creates the most aggressive climate change program in the U.S. and pledges a move toward becoming a carbon neutral state economy by 2050. As a leading transmission developer in the state and as part of its series of strategic investments, NYPA is concentrating its transmission portfolio on projects that balance system planning, returns and wider state objectives to generate a responsible supply of affordable, clean and reliable electricity.   

As the winning submission, Prisma Photonics earns the opportunity to work with NYPA, a large utility to support New York's clean energy transition as well as NYPA's strategic priorities. The firm's technology monitors transmission network performance along the grid 24 hours a day using existing optical fibers, detecting vandalism, climbing, tower hits, damaged lines, etc., and providing data that is analyzed so alerts can be sent directly to the relevant NYPA operation center. The project will start in the vicinity of NYPA's Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Schoharie County.  

NYPA had already engaged Prisma Photonics for a pilot project in December 2020 to demonstrate the capabilities of the firm's sensor. Based on its success, Prisma proposed an 18-month real-time detection and notification project that uses artificial intelligence to recognize attacks on transmission towers using the previously demonstrated fiber sensing-based technology. Prisma Photonics, which submitted a proposal in the open competition, was determined to be the best "fit" for the Challenge partnership.  

Dr. Eran Inbar, CEO of Prisma Photonics said, "We are honored to be selected as the Challenge winners. It is a true vote of confidence from NYPA and New York State, and we're proud to be taking part in a trailblazing climate and clean energy initiative, setting the stage for a cleaner, safer energy future." 

Israel's Economic Minister for North America, Anat Katz said, "Israel's Economic Mission is very excited to have yet another Israeli company closely collaborating with NYPA. Prisma Photonics is a leader in smart monitoring solutions. There is no doubt that under this collaboration with NYPA Prisma's AI-enabled sensor-free grid monitoring platform will be one of the most promising solutions in the utility space. We look forward to further collaborations between NYPA, New York and Israeli companies."

2022 Competition  

The 2022 Smart Energy Innovation Challenge will open in January. The competition's focus is on next generation technology such as electric vehicle charging, reliability with electrical grid systems, energy storage, buildings/campus energy management, data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and demand flexibility technologies. Interested companies can learn more about the challenge and submission details and deadlines in January on NYPA's Smart Energy Innovation Challenge web page. A webinar with additional competition details also will be held in January.  

In other partnerships, NYPA is collaborating with Israeli firms mPrest, Brenmiller Energy and SIGA OT in a wide variety of areas with an emphasis on physical and cyber security. mPrest, a leading provider of monitoring and control systems, assisted NYPA in developing a first-of-its-kind monitoring system to identify issues before they occur at NYPA's statewide network of power projects and transmissions assets. Israeli developer Brenmiller Energy coordinated with NYPA to test the use of thermal energy storage with combined heat and power to increase system energy efficiency once installed on a State University of New York campus. SIGA OT provides sensors and analytics right from the source to improve confidence and enhance the reliability, safety and cybersecurity of the grid.  

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan  

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.  

About NYPA  

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, FacebookInstagramTumblr and LinkedIn.  

About ISEA (Israel Smart Energy Association)  

The goal of ISEA is to position Israel as one of the leading countries in the smart energy domain; both in developing local innovative industry and adopting and deploying smart energy solutions. The association aims to accelerate adoption of smart energy and other innovative solutions in Israel and worldwide, support the growth of the global smart energy industry, and facilitate cooperation of Israeli innovative firms with main players worldwide. ISEA leverages its global and local stakeholders, including EnergyCom, the Israeli Energy Innovation Community which ISEA manages, to build knowledge and generate business opportunities for its members in the fast-growing smart energy space. For more information visit www.isea.org.il www.energycom.org.il and follow Meetup, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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