Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Con Edison are partnering on a significant initiative to decrease electricity demand by as much as 125 megawatts (MW) in New York City by increasing energy efficiency, reducing demand during peak electricity usage hours and applying combined heat and power (CHP) electrical generation systems at the sites of electric consumers in New York City and Westchester County. These efforts are in line with the Governor's energy vision to create a world-class energy system that is cleaner as well as more affordable, reliable, and resilient, while also driving economic growth and opportunity.
"In this new extreme weather reality, New Yorkers need a 21st century energy grid that won't leave them in the dark, when big storms strike," Governor Cuomo said. "This partnership between the State and Con-Edison will help make our electric grid more resilient and protect businesses and residents from unexpected power outages."
This initiative is part of a larger effort to improve the resiliency of New York State's electric system and is an important element for reimagining New York for a new climate change reality. The State has been engaged in improving the flexibility of the system so the grid can respond to future technologies, support clean energy integration and minimize outages during major storms and weather events.
Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York and Chairman of NYSERDA Richard Kauffman said, "We are looking forward to working with Con Edison in assisting large-scale energy consumers to find solutions to reduce their demand on the electric grid through energy efficiency and demand reduction measures which also helps decrease utility bills. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, this is another step the State is taking to build a more resilient and efficient electric grid for New Yorkers."
President and CEO of NYSERDA John B. Rhodes said, "We are pleased to be working with Con Edison in providing building owners and managers a program to reduce their electricity consumption. This joint program supports Governor Cuomo's efforts in building a more resilient and reliable electric grid in New York."
President of Con Edison Craig Ivey said, "The Demand Management Program we are jointly administering with NYSERDA is another opportunity for building owners and managers to modernize their systems, make their buildings more energy efficient and help reduce peak load. Our customers can now receive enhanced incentives to save energy and money."
Specifically, the $285 million program includes $219 million for energy efficiency and demand reduction projects to reduce peak electric demand by 100 MW and $66 million for CHP systems at customer sites to replace electricity from the grid by another 25 MW. Energy efficiency and demand reduction projects must be completed prior to June 1, 2016 and CHP projects by May 1, 2016.
This initiative will focus on high-demand energy users, project developers with large portfolios and other stakeholders in a position to influence and achieve demand reductions in Con Edison territory. Target customers include large building owners and managers in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, as well as facility managers and building engineers interested in new energy-efficient technologies and adoption of best practices. Portfolio owners and project developers uniting many small locations are also encouraged to apply.
Eligible energy efficiency and demand reduction improvements include, but are not limited to: cooling, refrigeration and ventilation; high-efficiency lighting; building management systems; demand response enablement technology; and datacenter and process efficiency improvements. Con Edison and NYSERDA are also encouraging electric customers to implement innovative strategies for shifting peak load to less expensive off-peak times or less constrained fuel sources. Eligible peak shifting technologies include: thermal storage; battery storage and non-electric cooling.
CHP systems available through this initiative can be used to "island" the electricity generated at customer sites, so they continue to have their self-produced electricity during utility power outages in the surrounding area. In addition, lowering demand on the grid through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and battery storage at buildings that use large amounts of energy will help to reduce pressure on the grid for all customers and users.
The CHP part of the initiative promotes ten pre-approved CHP vendors who are offering a wide selection of pre-approved CHP modules that operate using natural gas and are intended to run every day to save money and energy. These systems will also be configured to run during a grid outage to provide power to the host building for enhanced resiliency.
This initiative was developed in response to an order issued by the New York State Public Service Commission in November 2013 directing NYSERDA and Con Edison to develop and implement this initiative to address grid reliability and reduce electricity demand in New York City and Westchester County.