Distributed Energy Resources

N.Y. PSC updates interconnection requirements for DERs

The New York State Public Service Commission on Oct. 18 updated standardized interconnection requirements for renewable distributed generators, including energy storage systems.

The commission’s order is a continuation of efforts to allow and encourage the participation of a broader range of assets and resources on its electric grid in order to meet the state’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50% of New York’s electricity needs come from renewable energy by 2030 in order to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.

The PSC said the revisions ensure necessary engineering studies are properly sequenced, provide a more transparent approach to managing construction costs and save application costs for developers. The revisions will help developers to connect projects safely and reliably to the distribution system without undue delay by enabling the interconnecting utility to analyze and process a high volume of applications, the PSC said.

In the order, the commission accepted many of the recommendations of petitioners, which included Consolidated Edison, National Grid, the Clean Energy Collective, and Borrego Solar Systems, among others, on issues such as accounting for the use of a 25% interconnection down payment and contract and payment timing criteria for required minor upgrades during the interconnection screening process.

In September, the New York PSC expanded the types of distributed energy resources eligible for “value stack” payments to include tidal energy generators, biomass generators, some food-waste digestion systems, and stand-alone energy storage systems of up to 5 MW, including regenerative braking systems.

The value stack is a function of the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) that the PSC created as a way of compensating distributed energy resources, such as solar power, by taking into account clean energy attributes that had not previously been compensated.

The creation of the VDER is part of the state’s move away from net metering payments as it implements its Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, program.

REV aims to revamp the state’s energy sector and shift the traditional utility model away from a cost-plus system to a market-based system while encouraging wider penetration of renewable resources.