The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced $3.5 million in funding available for the private sector with solutions to make it easier, less costly and less time-consuming to connect renewable resources, such as solar and wind, to the electric grid. The agency says this funding is part of a $140 million total investment to be allocated over the next 10 years for innovation and research projects that will modernize New York’s electric grid while making it both smarter and more efficient.
NYSERDA’s grid modernization activities focus on the development of an advanced, digitally managed electric grid. Building a grid that employs advanced 21st-century technologies in service of modern electric system needs is a critical component in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy, according to the agency.
NYSERDA is seeking proposals from cleantech companies, distributed energy resource (DER) providers and others that have solutions to help New York overcome identified and as-yet-unidentified engineering and other technical challenges as it continues to connect DERs, such as combined heat and power, solar and community-based microgrids, to the electric grid.
The request for proposals (RFP) follows the creation of an Interconnection Technical Working Group and identification of interconnection ombudspeople at state energy agencies and utilities to assist with engineering challenges and others issues related to connecting distributed energy resources to the grid. Together, NYSERDA continues, these actions will help New York successfully modernize its grid and meet its aggressive 50% by 2030 clean energy standard.
The RFP for distributed energy resources integration is based, in part, on information from the working group, which has already identified some engineering challenges facing projects under development. As the DERs market has grown in New York, projects have become larger and send more energy back into the electric grid, a situation the grid was not designed to accommodate. NYSERDA says projects often face expensive and time-consuming infrastructure upgrades to overcome these challenges, and this RFP aims to reduce those costs and timelines.
“A critical part of modernizing our grid is to make it easier for renewable energy systems to integrate into it, especially as Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy encourages more of them to come online,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This initiative will provide us with much-needed solutions to connect more clean renewable energy sources to the electric grid.”
More information about the funding is available here.