NYSERDA Announces First Funding Opportunity in $140 Million Grid Modernization Initiative

State is making $3.5 million available for companies to help New York integrate renewable energy systems into electric grid and cut costs

October 20, 2016

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced $3.5 million in funding available for the private sector with solutions to make it easier, less costly and less time-consuming to connect renewable resources, such as solar and wind, to the electric grid. This funding is part of a $140 million total investment to be allocated over the next ten years for innovation and research projects that will modernize New York's electric grid while making it both smarter and more efficient.

NYSERDA's grid modernization activities focus on the development of an advanced, digitally managed electric grid. Building a grid that employs advanced 21st century technologies in service of modern electric system needs is a critical component in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

NYSERDA is seeking proposals from clean tech companies, distributed energy resource providers and others that have solutions to help New York overcome identified and as-yet-unidentified engineering and other technical challenges as it continues to connect distributed energy resources, such as combined heat and power, solar and community-based microgrids, to the electric grid.

The request for proposals follows the creation of an Interconnection Technical Working Group and identification of interconnection ombudspeople at State energy agencies and utilities to assist with engineering challenges and others issues related to connecting distributed energy resources to the grid. Together, these actions will help New York to successfully modernize its grid and meet its aggressive Clean Energy Standard to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030, most importantly by making it easier from a technical standpoint to integrate these energy sources into the electricity delivery system.

The NYSERDA request for proposals for distributed energy resources integration is based, in part, on information from the working group, which has already identified some engineering challenges facing projects under development. As the distributed energy resources market has grown in New York, projects have become larger and send more energy back into the electric grid, a situation the grid was not designed to accommodate. Projects often face expensive and time-consuming infrastructure upgrades to overcome these challenges. This request for proposals aims to reduce those costs and timelines to enable greater integration of new clean energy sources into New York's electric grid.

"A critical part of modernizing our grid is to make it easier for renewable energy systems to integrate into it, especially as Governor Cuomo's REV strategy encourages more of them to come online," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "This initiative will provide us with much needed solutions to connect more clean renewable energy sources to the electric grid."

The Interconnection Technical Working Group, co-chaired by NYSERDA and the Department of Public Service (DPS), includes representatives from New York's utilities and renewable energy companies.

Audrey Zibelman, CEO of the New York State Department of Public Service, said, "As more consumers look to distributed energy resources to meet their energy needs, it will be critical to ensure that we maintain the safety and reliability of the grid as help customers take advantage of new, money-saving products and services. NYSERDA's initiative will help us appropriately address the technical challenges inherent with grid modernization and other benefits we expect under REV."

The utility, NYSERDA and DPS ombudspeople are working together to address challenges on specific projects as developers and utilities move toward integrating the grid. The ombudspeople at the utilities recently developed interactive maps that show where possible constraints could be for developers who want to interconnect to the grid. In addition, to increase transparency and establish common expectations for administrative processes, the DPS has published interconnection inventory data and overall interconnection summary information on its website at interconnection queue summary.

More information about the funding is available at DER Integration.

Funding is available through the State's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund to support clean energy market development and innovation, and a major component of REV.

About the Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. It is designed to deliver on New York State's commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections.It includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities throughout the State. The CEF supports New York's aggressive Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of the State's electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency, in part through the recent adoption of New York's Clean Energy Standard which requires that 50% of the state's electricity needs be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600% growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5.3 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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