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New York to spend $15m improving electric grid

Steve Rogerson
April 18, 2018
Up to $15m is available for projects that will help New York improve the resiliency, efficiency and overall performance of its electric grid to save on energy and costs to combat climate change, according to state governor Andrew Cuomo.
Modernising the grid supports Cuomo's initiative to deploy 1500MW of energy storage by 2025 and his requirement for half of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
"One of the most critical components in our fight against climate change is the modernisation of our electric grid," Cuomo said. "I encourage entrepreneurs and clean energy companies to join in New York's mission to lead the nation in protecting the planet by investing in renewable energy and help make our system more resilient against whatever Mother Nature throws our way."
The grid modernisation initiative, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), promotes the development of a high performing smart grid that will accommodate a diverse supply of clean energy generation resources, enhance overall electric grid performance, and enable users to reduce their energy costs, energy consumption and environmental impacts.
"New York is rebuilding its outdated electric grid enabling it to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy for New Yorkers from upstate to downstate and we need the private sector to bring some of their best ideas to the table,” said Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for the state of New York. “This initiative builds on the progress we've already made and helps us reach the governor's ambitious clean energy goals."
NYSERDA will award projects through a two-step competitive process. Applicants will initially submit concept papers of their proposals for an evaluation process. Based on those evaluations, a select group of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals for further evaluation. The final proposals selected will receive funding to move forwards.
Concept papers will be accepted until July 18, 2018, in one of four categories: research studies, engineering studies, product development and demonstration projects. Papers should focus on projects that will aid in developing innovative cyber security and data analytics or planning, operations and forecasting tools. Concept papers should also demonstrate how their proposals will advance the state's goal to have half of its electricity come from renewable resources by 2030.
The funding builds on previous solicitations issued in October 2016 which resulted in $9.6m being awarded through 22 contracts that focus on smart grid technologies aiding in the analysis of solar interconnections and the integration of energy storage, digital services and sensor applications. Funding is available through the state's ten-year, $5.3bn Clean Energy Fund. In total, $110m is dedicated to modernising New York's electric grid until 2022.
"Integrating clean, renewable energy into a more efficient, high performing grid is critical to New York meeting its ambitious energy goals, but we can't do it alone,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Governor Cuomo's vision for modernising our electric grid, reducing costs for customers, and providing clean and efficient energy for New Yorkers can only become a reality with the help of innovative and forward-thinking ideas from industry participants."
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is 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 such as solar, wind and energy efficiency and requiring 50 per cent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.
Already, REV has driven growth of more than 1000 per cent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and achieves the international target of reducing emissions 80 per cent by 2050.
The ten-year, $5.3bn Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York's REV strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on the state's commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections.
NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $27.6m in positive net income as a result of $457.5m in investments in clean energy transactions across New York. Its $1bn NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1000 per cent increase in solar deployment since 2011.
Con Edison, with support from GridBright, has gone live with Storm (Support Tool for Outage Restoration Management), software that will help New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority reduce delays for New York's 5.7 million daily subway riders.
Storm is proactive software that analyses data from smart meters to detect and address problems in the electric grid before they become outages; it will also detect when power has actually failed. GridBright, a systems integrator specialising in outage management, led the system integration team to enhance Storm to use data from more than 2000 smart meter locations on the New York subway.