New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first round of funding for the $15 million Future Grid Challenge, a program to help solve technical challenges utilities face with energy transmission and distribution when integrating renewable energy resources into New York’s electric grid.
Administered by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Future Grid Challenge will offer funding to grid technology companies and research institutions that will 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. This initiative will have two rounds with each round addressing different challenge areas.
Modernizing the grid supports the Governor’s mandate for 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and a carbon-free power grid by 2040 as included in the historic climate legislation that was just passed by the legislature, the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Where this $6 million is going
In this first round of funding, up to $6 million is available for projects that partner with Con Edison and Orange & Rockland utilities with up to $3 million available per utility challenge to support development of technical solutions. Proposals should focus on:
• Helping Con Ed advance Distributed Energy Resource (DER) monitoring, control, data analytics and advanced forecasting
• Assisting Orange and Rockland with improving smart inverter functionality to provide seamless integration of distributed resources, improve grid stability and reduce system losses
The remaining funds will be made available through the second round of the program later in 2019 with new challenges and utilities identified and included.
More on New York’s grid modernization
To prepare for this important initiative, NYSERDA’s Smart Grid team has worked with the Joint Utilities of New York members Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, National Grid, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Gas and Electric, and Orange & Rockland to identify transmission and distribution challenges that each utility faces. Together, these utilities provide electric service to over 13 million households, businesses, and government facilities across New York State. Each specific challenge was developed in partnership with the utilities, and each utility will participate in the selection committee for their respective challenge. To be eligible for an award, proposals submitted must specifically address the unique challenges identified for the selected utilities.
“Our participation in the Future Grid Challenge will yield innovative solutions to help us make it even easier and more beneficial for our customers to choose renewables,” said Matthew Ketschke, Senior Vice President, Customer Energy Solutions, for Con Edison. “This program is an example of the private and public sectors in New York State working together to build the modern grid that is essential to creating the clean energy future we want.”
The Future Grid Challenge funding complements other NYSERDA smart grid funding announced previously, including the $30 million announced to support projects that develop or improve electric grid products or technologies, as well as the $5 million made available to enhance and support the connection of renewable resources to the grid.
Since 2016, the program has awarded approximately $25 million under 55 contracts to grid technology companies and research organizations. A total of $110 million has been dedicated through 2022 under the Clean Energy Fund Grid Modernization Investment Plan to help modernize New York’s grid. Recent projects include low-cost high-accuracy grid sensors, modeling and simulation tools, and advanced engineering solutions for more effective integration of wind and solar power. Learn more on NYSERDA’s website.
— Solar Builder magazine