Competition Structure

The NY Prize Competition is administered by NYSERDA, with support from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, to support community grid planning and development.


NY Prize offers support for feasibility studies (Stage 1), audit-grade engineering design and business planning (Stage 2), and project build-out and post-operational monitoring (Stage 3). Applications will be judged against program requirements at each stage of the competition for which funding is being requested. Cost share will be required for Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the competition.

Some projects may complete certain competition stages faster than anticipated; NYSERDA reserves the right to adjust program timelines. The competition guidelines and expectations on funding should be viewed as projected. Ultimately, project performance data and community interest will drive decisions about timing and project funding.

Stage 1: Feasibility Studies

Stage 1 Request for Proposals (RFP) is now closed. Proposals for Stage 1 were accepted until May 15, 2015. The NY Prize Selection Committee approved up to $100,000 in funding for 83 feasibility studies across New York State in July 2015.

At the Feasibility Stage, the applicant was expected to address certain issues such as but not limited to, the following:

  • Identify site constraints and opportunities
  • Select and appoint consultants to conduct work
  • Preliminary assessment of the technical design and system configuration (resource options, appraisal and selection)
  • Commercial and financial feasibility assessment
  • Preliminary commercial terms/contractual relationships between project participants (project organization and operational control)
  • Project value proposition to stakeholders
  • Legal/environmental suitability and financial viability
  • Environmental
  • Net project benefits analysis
  • Preliminary project design, management and operations plan, budget and schedule

Participation in Stage 1 is not a prerequisite to participation in Stage 2. Communities awarded funding under Stage 1 of the NY Prize competition as well as project proposals that did not receive Stage 1 funding, but may already be supported through current or pending NYSERDA awards, funded through other means or otherwise in progress, are encouraged to submit completed feasibility assessments for Stage 2 consideration.

Timing: Stage 1 feasibility studies are in process now and are expected to be completed by May 2016.

Stage 2: Design

NYSERDA issued the Stage 2 Design competitive RFP in April 2016. During the Stage 2 Design Stage, the NY Prize Selection Committee expects to award up to $8,000,000 in funding. Detailed design would include activities such, as but not limited to, the following:

  • Fulfill the criteria outlined for Stage 1 and conducting a feasibility study
  • Select and appoint consultants to conduct work
  • Bid projects/ evaluate bids
  • Conduct detailed assessment of the technical design and system configuration (resource options, appraisal and selection) 
  • Conduct project valuation, investment planning
  • Assess regulatory/legal and environmental suitability and financial viability terms
  • Develop formal commercial terms/contractual relationships between project participants (project organization and operational control, legal and financial terms)
  • Detailed project construction and commissioning proposal(equipment specifications, procurement plans, project and operational management, permitting)
  • Final detailed project development and operational proposals

Timing: Stage 2 Design RFP released in April 2016 with a due date of October 12, 2016.

Stage 3: Project Build-Out

NYSERDA anticipates issuing a Stage 3 Project Build-Out competitive RFP in the beginning of 2018. Expected evaluation criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Overall cost and benefits of the project (including "REV" benefits in the form of reduced distribution utility costs)
  • Project’s contribution to public need (increasing safety and quality of life for residents in an outage situation)
  • Technical and operational performance of the project
  • Demonstrated reliability of the proposed microgrid configuration
  • Use of clean and renewable generation resources in the project
  • Overall financial, commercial and managerial capabilities of the developer

Timing: Stage 3 Project Build-Out RFP is anticipated to be released in January 2018 with an expected due date in April 2018 for proposals. Winners of Stage 3 will likely be awarded in June 2018.