By - Michael Drost

New York utilities embrace REV

Energize Weekly, July 1, 2015

A slew of New York utilities, including National Grid, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, and Iberdrola have announced new projects and initiatives to meet or exceed goals outlined in the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), which aims to modernize New York’s grid by increasing the competitiveness of renewable energy resources and by giving customers more choice and control over their energy usage.

National Grid, which provides electricity and natural gas to 7 million customers in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, announced it has created a “New Energy Solutions” team that will be focused solely on innovations and technologies that “drive cleaner energy, improved efficiency, and affordability and choice for the customer,” along with a pair of proposed demonstration projects for REV.

In addition, the New York Public Service Commission recently gave the green light to Central Hudson’s proposal to target 11 megawatts (MW) of load reduction in 2019, while Iberdrola says it will have. Utilities have been ordered to file demonstration projects for REV by July 1, however Central Hudson revealed a slate of its projects early alongside a $43 million rate case last week. Iberdrola also announced it will file at least three demonstration projects for REV.

Launched in the spring of last year, REV was sparked in part by concerns over the lackluster response to Superstorm Sandy in the fall of 2012, as well as by factors that have been nagging at power markets over several years, including rising energy costs, environmental compliance concerns, and the increased penetration of distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar and demand response.

National Grid says that the New Energy Solutions team will be put in place to ensure that the company has “the right local resources to answer its customers’ needs, and has the right insights into local requirements and processes.” Some of the innovations National Grid has invested in at the local level include a microgrid project at Clarkson University in Upstate New York, the Worcester Smart Energy Solutions project in Massachusetts, and the Aquidneck Island reliability project in Rhode Island.

“It’s a very exciting time to be in the energy industry,” said Ed White, National Grid’s vice president of new energy solutions. “With the help of customers, communities and regulators, we plan to advance America’s natural gas and electricity infrastructure beyond its 20th century limitations to create an energy network that is more customer-centric, resilient, agile, efficient and environmentally sound.”

Iberdrola says that it will propose three projects for REV, the first of which will be Interconnect Solutions, according to Greentech Media. Interconnect Solutions is a platform powered by UK-based Smarter Grid Solutions that enables faster and cheaper interconnections for distributed resources. Iberdrola director of smart planning and programs Laney Brown noted that 40 percent of Iberdrola’s distributed energy projects did not move forward due to grid-connection issues.

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