Distributed Energy Resources

NYPA to invest $250 million in DER-related activities

The New York Power Authority on Dec. 11 said that it will invest $250 million between now and 2025 to accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid in order to provide greater access to renewable energy resources.

NYPA said that the multi-pronged, collaborative investment will address key market and financing barriers, accelerate implementation of up to 150 megawatts of grid flexibility projects and decrease market risk.

NYPA will invite New York State’s distribution utilities and 51 municipal and rural cooperative electric systems to conduct collaborative test-and-learn demonstrations to determine the capabilities and value of various storage and demand management tools that could be used to provide services to the grid.

“With its open sourced innovation, NYPA will also be looking for partners in the public and private sector as it identifies initial locations for the first tranche of projects,” the Authority added.

“Our primary intent is to use the experiences gained from test-and-learn projects to provide value to customers,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “At the same time, we can demonstrate to regulators and market participants the ways in which these flexibility tools increase the efficiency of the grid, and inform the process of creating mechanisms that enable private markets to invest in them at scale."

The initial phase of funding, approved Dec. 11 by the NYPA Board of Trustees, directs up to 30 percent of the $250 million to be allocated into three primary new demonstration programs through the end of 2020, including:

  • Energy Infrastructure: Identify and demonstrate opportunities to deploy storage and demand flexibility to defer, reduce or avoid investments caused by locational congestion or retiring plants and infrastructure;
  • Distributed Energy Resources: Optimize the role that behind-the-meter customer energy resources and buildings can play in supporting a clean, renewable energy system, and simplify the role that these resources play in the New York energy markets; and 
  • Renewable Generation: Pair storage and renewables for longer intermittency durations, build flexibility into the generation and transmission system to balance different geographical locations of renewables and explore longer duration demand flexibility.

The balance of the $250 million will be directed into accelerating storage and demand flexibility, with specific projects dependent on emerging market needs, collaborative project proposals with third-parties and customer preferences.

NYPA said that the project supports the goals in the New York Energy Storage Roadmap, which identifies recommended actions toward realizing the state’s 1,500 MW storage deployment target by 2025.

The Authority said the initiative will also help accelerate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system and ensures that 50 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030.

The flexibility initiative also builds on NYPA’s green energy commitments, adding to a $250 million seven-year program roll-out, Evolve NY, announced in May to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by expanding fast-charging infrastructure on major traffic corridors and in urban hubs throughout the state.

NYPA trustees also approve $5 mil to establish grant incentive

In related business, NYPA trustees also approved $5 million to establish a grant incentive to jump-start innovative clean energy projects through December 31, 2025. 

The Clean Distributed Energy Resource Grant Program will provide supplemental funding for DER projects such as solar PV, solar plus battery storage, microgrids, standalone storage and smart inverter functionality.

In addition, installation of software technology that will feed into the Authority’s New York Energy Manager, which monitors energy performance and efficiency of government buildings, will be incorporated into each project.