Driving innovation in New York State
National Grid is driving innovation and creating the utility of the future through four proposed demonstration projects across New York state that will integrate clean energy, harness new technologies, and deliver new options – and more control – for customers. The proposed projects were submitted to state regulators July 1 as part of the New York Public Service Commission’s proceeding on Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV. Focused on three distinct geographic regions with very different customer needs, the projects will test hypotheses expected to lead to scalable solutions and reinvigorate the existing energy delivery business model.
“Once approved, these demonstration projects will be a living laboratory for the type of innovation, investment and community engagement that will be the hallmark of the energy industry going forward,” said Ken Daly, National Grid’s New York president.
”Each of our proposed projects will help us build new business models, better serve our customers and create new opportunities for market participants,” said Ed White, National Grid’s vice president of New Energy Solutions. White and the New Energy Solutions team will be dedicated to delivering the innovations and technologies in the demonstration projects.
In Western New York: Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and Neighborhood Solar
In Western New York, the company will partner with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to test the integration of distributed energy resources and dynamic load management. The medical campus, which includes Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University at Buffalo and Kaleida Health, is a consortium of the region’s premier healthcare, research and medical education institutions in downtown Buffalo. This part of the proposal will test how National Grid can integrate customer-owned energy resources to manage system demands.
A companion demonstration project with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus includes developing and integrating neighborhood solar options in the predominantly low- to moderate-income residential area immediately adjacent to the medical campus. This demonstration will determine the best ways to increase solar penetration and energy efficiency adoption in communities that could potentially be underserved by third-party market participants.
In Northern New York: Community Resiliency
In Northern New York, National Grid has launched an innovative energy partnership with Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam and others to examine the feasibility of building a community microgrid to add resiliency and efficiency to the area’s electricity grid. In emergencies, the microgrid would separate from the electricity system and independently provide power to the campuses and to local police, fire, hospital and emergency response facilities. The demonstration project will introduce business model innovation to the development of a community resiliency microgrid.
In Eastern New York: Clifton Park
In Eastern New York, the proposed Clifton Park demonstration project will incorporate intelligent and automated systems so that residential and small commercial customers can actively monitor and control energy consumption. The project will offer customers more predictable energy bills and opportunities to better manage energy usage and new energy technologies, such as state-of-the-art home appliances, smart thermostats and home solar energy. The initiative is intended to improve reliability and reduce energy consumption for approximately 15,000 area customers.
Real-time Feedback, Critical Partnerships, Market Animation
White said feedback collected from the projects will inform how National Grid will:
- Better serve customers
- Align with strategic partners to deliver innovation
- Measure customer interest, engagement and support of options, opportunities and new pricing models
- Execute the new Distributed System Platform
- Effectively integrate distributed energy resources into the existing infrastructure, and
- Advance regulatory changes and effective rate design
Added White, “With the help of customers, strategic partners, 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.”
National Grid expects the PSC to render a decision on the demonstration project proposals in the coming weeks.