The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced awards to five winning teams under the first two rounds of the Future Grid Challenge aimed at developing solutions to integrate clean and renewable energy into the electric grid.

The project teams will help New York’s utilities such as Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, National Grid and Orange & Rockland improve efficiency and reliability to advance renewable energy integration. These public-private partnership projects support New York’s mandate for a carbon-free electric grid by 2040 and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal.

“The teams selected show how expertise, experience and innovation are coming together to advance forward-thinking solutions that can meet the state’s future energy needs to enhance grid reliability and the integrity of renewables while decreasing harmful emissions, reducing energy use and lowering costs for all New Yorkers,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA.

New York’s decarbonization goals and statewide scale-up of renewable energy resources, such as solar, require increasing the existing electric grid’s capabilities while reducing distribution costs to the consumer and system upgrades.

The winners are:

  • ConnectDER, UL/AWS Truepower and Itron will deploy a low-cost monitoring technology and develop a new communication system to integrate aggregated solar data directly into Con Edison’s existing Advanced Meter Infrastructure.
  • Electric Power Research Institute Integrated Analytics and Clean Power Research will utilize real-time data collection to forecast distributed energy resource generation to improve operations and planning at Con Edison.
  • Smarter Grid Solutions, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Borrego Solar will test smart inverter integration with Orange & Rockland’s Advanced Distribution Management System to develop a better understanding of smart inverter functions, control and communications capabilities, and how they impact grid stability, voltage regulation and system losses.
  • EPRI, Schneider Electric, General Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions will help Central Hudson Gas & Electric develop and demonstrate a scalable system that can integrate large amounts of renewable energy resources for transmission and distribution systems.
  • Utilidata, National Renewable Energy Lab, Standard Solar and Chint Power Systems will work with National Grid to evaluate how to integrate solar power into utility operations to provide a seamless and full integration of renewable energy using smart inverters to maintain system reliability and how smart inverters can further enhance voltage optimization.

“Under Governor Cuomo, New York is driving toward a carbon-free electricity system,” said John B. Rhodes, CEO, Department of Public Service. “We know we need new solutions for that. Today’s awards deliver on that — these are promising and practical innovations that enable a smart and reliable clean electric grid.”

NYSERDA worked with utility companies across New York State to identify challenges for its Future Grid Challenge. The Challenge is part of The Clean Energy Fund Grid Modernization Investment Plan providing a total of $110 million through 2022 to help modernize New York’s electric grid and combat climate change.

Since 2016, NYSERDA’s Smart Grid program has awarded approximately $53 million under 69 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.

Grid Modernization is one of several programs at NYSERDA focused on technology and business advancements to support New York State’s clean energy and decarbonization goals. NYSERDA’s Innovation programs partner with technology companies, researchers and end users to support the development, accelerated deployment and commercialization of technologies and business models. This is achieved through direct support of research and early-stage companies as well as through its network of proof of concept centers, incubators, and other support programs.

News item from NYSERDA