NYSERDA, NYSEG and RG&E announce $3 million to forecast and assess impact of electrification on NY’S electric grid in the Southern Tier

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From NYSERDA, NYSEG AND RG&E:

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) today announced $3 million is available in the first round of the $6.3 million Future Grid Challenge to help solve technical challenges utilities face with energy transmission and distribution when integrating renewable energy resources into New York’s electric grid. Specifically, the funding is available for a project or projects that partner with Avangrid and its subsidiaries, NYSEG and RG&E, to develop technical solutions that forecast and assess system impacts of electric vehicle (EV) and distributed energy resources (DER) in parts of the Southern Tier. Today’s announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading mandate for 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030 as outlined in the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act).

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said,  “In our transition to a clean energy economy, deploying clean distributed energy resources such as solar, electric vehicles, and heat pumps at scale requires continued investments in innovative grid modernization technologies like those supported under the Future Grid Challenge. New York remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the technological solutions we need to create the resilient and reliable grid of the future in our fight to combat climate change.”

Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E said, “We’re excited to partner with NYSERDA on this initiative which will inform our preparations for beneficial electrification across our service area. Electric vehicles, electric heating, and distributed energy resources, such as solar PV, are critical aspects of building a clean energy future and achieving New York’s clean energy goals. Increasingly these technologies will change the demands placed on our electric grid, impacting how we forecast, plan and operate the distribution system. NYSEG and RG&E are taking a proactive approach to develop innovative solutions that will build the grid of the future and benefit our customers for years to come build the grid of the future and benefit our customers for years to come.”

The first round of the Future Grid Challenge aims to gain a detailed understanding of the net impact of increasing low carbon technologies, including electric vehicles and heat pumps, while using energy generated from solar panels on electricity networks. Proposals from solution providers, or teams of solution providers, should assess the impact of increased electrification and distributed solar on the electric grid through 2030 to inform regulators and policymakers on developing an efficient and coordinated approach to distribution system forecasting and planning, as well as assess equipment and infrastructure needs. A multi-disciplinary team should be assembled to provide expertise on the various aspects of this challenge, including knowledge of electric vehicle, heat pump and solar industry trends and expertise in software development, data collection and statistical analysis. Teams should also have an understanding of utility equipment and infrastructure design, customer usage profiles, and modeling steady state utility electrical loads.

The proposed project or projects will partner with NYSEG and RG&E primarily in the city of Binghamton service area. A second area around the city of Ithaca, also known as the Ithaca Division, may also be considered for forecasting and modeling to the extent that it is helpful for model development.

Proposals are due by 3:00 p.m. on July 14, 2021. For additional details and associated documents, visit NYSERDA’s website: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/all-programs/programs/smart-grid-program.

Round Two of the challenge will be launched later this summer with the remaining $3.3 million, or portion thereof, pending final determination of the next challenge focus and service area.

Administered by NYSERDA, the Future Grid Challenge offers funding to grid technology companies and research institutions that address challenges ranging from the need for greater real-time system data to incorporating smart technologies and energy storage into power grid planning and operations. Each specific challenge is developed in partnership with the Joint Utilities of New York members Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, National Grid, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, and Orange & Rockland to identify transmission and distribution challenges that each utility faces with the goal of increasing the grid’s ability to accommodate renewable energy sources and understanding of how they impact on the grid. Together, these utilities provide electric service to over 13 million households, businesses, and government facilities across the State.

The Future Grid Challenge is part of the Clean Energy Fund Grid Modernization Program, which is providing a total of $110 million through 2022 to help modernize New York’s electric grid and combat climate change. Under this program, since 2016, NYSERDA’s Smart Grid program has awarded approximately $55 million under 97 contracts to grid technology companies and research organizations for projects including low-cost high-accuracy grid sensors, modeling and simulation tools, and advanced engineering solutions for more effective integration of renewable energy resources. Learn more on NYSERDA’s website.

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