O&R, Central Hudson, UAlbany partner to develop weather forecasting tool


PEARL RIVER – Orange & Rockland Utilities and Central Hudson Gas & Electric are collaborating with UAlbany’s Center of Excellence in Weather & Climate Analytics and Electrical Distribution Design to develop a new weather forecasting tool that will provide real-time predictions on storm outages, electrical load, and renewable energy generation.

That data, which will be displayed on a customizable dashboard, can better equip utility companies to make important decisions more efficiently on how to prepare for weather-induced power outages and variations in renewable energy production.

The project, spearheaded by the Center of Excellence, will use a combination of New York State Mesonet data and Integrated System Models (ISMs) to develop the tool.

The State Mesonet, headquartered at UAlbany, includes 126 standard weather observation stations across the state. The network provides an array of real-time weather measurements that can help with situational awareness for both storms and renewables generation.

Along with the state Mesonet data, this new forecasting tool will leverage other publicly available weather data sources, including sensors that are being installed now through the project at large New York solar farms.

O&R and CHG&E also are providing their own data from previously existing Integrated System Models, which will be combined for the first time through this project. The dashboard will initially be customized for them, but can expand to assist other utilities statewide, said Nick Bassill, director of research and development at UAlbany’s COE.