Friday, July 08, 2016

Utilities Give a First Peek at N.Y.'s Distributed Energy Future

Consolidated Edison Inc., like other New York utilities, is trying to estimate how much distributed solar will come onto the grid. (Credit: Consolidated Edison) Click to Enlarge.
In 2014, Consolidated Edison Inc. asked an $800 million question.

In parts of Brooklyn and Queens, power demand was growing. ConEd could meet that need with a $1 billion upgrade to the power grid -- paid for by ratepayers.

Or it could put that off and try something else:  an estimated $200 million worth of energy efficiency, distributed solar, energy storage and other clean-tech solutions that are getting more economical every year.

State regulators approved the plan, and it's now underway.  The jury's out as to what it will ultimately cost; New York has never deployed distributed energy sources (DERs) at scale. Today, solar makes up less than 1 percent of ConEd's peak demand.

But with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) pushing hard for a modernized, decarbonized grid, the plan has also gotten New York utilities wondering:  If they really wanted to add distributed energy en masse, how would they do it?

Last week, they took their first crack at the question.  The state's six investor-owned utilities gave regulators their five-year plans to add distributed energy sources to their grids.

Read more at Utilities Give a First Peek at N.Y.'s Distributed Energy Future

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