January 29, 2016 - 10:24 AM EST
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Align Efficiency Programs, Incentives and Capital Improvements With Emerging Microgrid Projects

Interview With Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO, New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Chairman, Electric Power Research Institute

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - January 29, 2016) - In March 2015, Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO at the NYPA, spoke with marcus evans about how the NYPA were updating their energy efficiency programs to utilize microgrid technology and reduce energy spend in New York:

Does NYPA expect the construction and deployment of microgrids to continue to rise within the state of New York?

GQ: Yes, a number of factors are leading to the growth of microgrids in NY, including availability of incentives, regulatory changes, and technology advancements.

  • NY is investing significant capital and effort in developing microgrids, most specifically through the NY Prize initiative, a $40 million funding program to help communities across NY create microgrids. Initially funding up to $100,000 for up to 25 microgrid feasibility studies, NY Prize will then award up to $1 million for ten detailed designs and finally up to $7 million for construction of up to five projects.
  • On the regulatory front the New York State Public Service Commission's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is transforming how customer energy projects, including microgrids, participate in NY energy markets. In short, REV will be creating new energy markets for customer energy projects such as microgrids to participate in and potentially realize revenue from, making them more feasible relative to the existing utility model.
  • Technology is also a major factor in spurring the growth of microgrids. New software and control technologies allow for more automated microgrid operations, enabling local energy resources to be combined to follow local loads seamlessly as part of the larger grid and in isolation from it.

However, at present, NY is experiencing very low wholesale energy prices. On site microgrid generation energy costs are finding it more difficult to compete with these reduced prices. Lower natural gas prices, while driving much of the wholesale prices reductions, will also benefit microgrids that use this fuel for generation.

In addition to the competition for the 5 cities in NY (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers) to reduce their annual energy spend are there any other programs NYPA is rolling out in line with the Governor's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Plan?

GQ: Many of NYPA's customer energy projects have the ability to directly support REV. From our energy efficiency projects that permanently reduce customer load to our demand response and distributed generation projects that help manage customer load, these projects reduce demand on the distribution grid and help grid operators to offset expensive grid upgrades -- a high level REV goal. In addition, NYPA is developing its Smart G&T initiative to help improve NY's grid and make it better able to incorporate local distributed energy resources to improve grid efficiency, resiliency and costs. NYPA, in partnership with SUNY Poly Tech is also building an Advanced Grid Innovation Lab for Energy (AGILe), to help utilities develop modeling tools and capabilities that will be instrumental in supporting the REV initiative. NYPA is also participating on several REV working groups and helping to be a voice of the customer in these ongoing proceedings.

How has NYPA been able to build customer buy in to Energy Efficiency programs?

GQ: NYPA's programs have built a tremendous amount of customer buy in to energy efficiency as is evidenced by the number of large institutional participants that return time and time again to NYPA for energy efficiency services. This has been built by developing trust in NYPA and its staff resources as a knowledgeable resource, the ability of NYPA to quickly procure and execute large projects on behalf of the participants and the access to low cost financing that NYPA provides as a value added service. Program participants, when engaging NYPA, are free to concentrate their staff resources on core mission responsibilities like educating children, keeping trains and buses running, treating patients, providing fire and police services, while relying on NYPA resources to make these operations as energy efficient as they can be.

This year at the 4th Microgrid & Distributed Energy Development Conference, the New York City Housing Authority, NYPA, NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability, and Environmental Defense Fund will review recent municipal community microgrid project successes, challenges and pitfalls to serve as a baseline for others.

In addition to presentations, the conference will provide the opportunity to tour the Philadelphia Navy Yard Microgrid so that you can witness, first-hand, how the Navy developed a technologically, financially, and economically successful grid.

Join us March 16-17 in Philadelphia. For any questions, please look over the conference agenda or contact Tyler Kelch, Digital Marketing Manager, marcus evans at 312.894.6310 or [email protected].

About marcus evans

Marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

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Tyler Kelch
Digital Marketing Manager
marcus evans
[email protected]

Source: Marketwired (January 29, 2016 - 10:24 AM EST)

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