In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a bold new model of the electrical utility system and energy markets called Reforming the Energy Vision to eliminate electricity peaks in summer and better value efficiency and distributed resources at the grid edge. Hawaii recently passed legislation that would require 100 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2045, much of which could be distributed.
These states are two of the front-runners in rethinking the future of electricity service in the United States, but they are not alone. Across the U.S., consumers ranging from large industrial customers to individual homeowners are rethinking their power options, whether it’s rooftop or community solar or installing behind-the-meter energy storage to manage utility demand charges. The changing energy landscape is forcing utilities and regulators to rethink how business is done.
In New York, one of the keys to the Reforming the Energy Vision proposal is transforming distribution utilities from the role they play today into functioning as "distributed service platform providers" that will manage all of the assets at the grid edge.
The creation of DSPPs will require new technology to manage all of the energy assets, as well as new market structures and new relationships between utilities and third-party vendors. While the construct will be unique to New York, some of the technology developments and market structures could be adopted by other states in the future. Each distribution utility in the state will have to file its distributed system implementation plan by December 15.
One of the areas that could see the most variation among utilities in the filings submitted at the end of the year is the technologies and architectures each will choose to manage all of the customer data and operational data that has to be shared. Those that are most successful at providing data information services will have the most to gain.
There are a litany of issues to work out, such as how much investment might come directly from the state, including its Green Bank, and the areas in which third parties will be expected to provide investment. It is still unclear exactly how third parties will interface with the utilities and what changes, if any, will need to happen at the wholesale transmission market level to enable this transformation at the distribution scale.
To explore these issues, Ben Kellison, director of grid research at GTM Research, will be joined by H.G. Chissell, SVP of strategic accounts at Viridity; Maggie Clout, microgrid business development manager at Siemens; and Jon Poor, director of strategy at National Grid for a panel session at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 in New York City, “Architecting Energy’s Future: Grid-Edge Technologies Underpinning an Intelligent, Distributed Utility System.”
General admission is $25 and student admission is $10. To buy tickets and learn more about the event, click here.
If you cannot join the discussion in person, Greentech Media will stream the event live below and at www.greentechmedia.com, and questions can be submitted via Twitter @CleanECNYC with hashtag #CleanNRGx.
If you can’t make this Clean Energy Connections event, check out the schedule for the rest of the events discussing New York’s evolving energy vision in 2015.