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REV-D and Distributed Energy Systems: New developments affecting the way you could soon receive your electricity

REV-D stands for Renewing the Energy Vision, part of a continuing initiative by Governor Cuomo to transform New York’s electric industry away from the traditional, regulated, cost-plus driven system to a de-regulated market featuring the development of customer-owned distributive energy assets. In addition to economic rewards for developers who create renewable generation plants, REV-D incentivizes individuals and commercial entities to develop renewable energy assets at their homes or businesses.

The creation of self-contained energy distribution centers offers both benefits and challenges for power grid operation in its current form. Microgrids can offer benefits like control of power quality for business locations, cheaper cost of electricity through the use of renewables, and elimination of Utility charges for Transportation and Delivery services. Most of today’s DERs run parallel to the grid and are intended to provide all the power needs at that site. Current studies suggest that sites combining heat and power generation, solar photovoltaic and battery storage will emerge with DER systems providing most—but not all—of electricity required for the load it serves. Current grid operations allow for net metering and using DERs to return excess power back to the host utility through the use of electric bill credits. But as New York DER microgrids grow in number, assets going in and out of the power grid may wreak havoc in the normal dispatch of generation assets.

On August 17, the New York Independent Operator (NYISO)—the not for profit entity operating the New York State Power Grid—issued a draft statement on the development of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). These are solar photovoltaic, combined heat and power generation systems, microgrids, wind turbines, microturbines, back-up generators and energy storage devices usually located on or near an end-user’s property, supplying some or all of that user’s electricity. The NYISO report suggests that DER energy requirements can be handled through demand response measures curtailing grid load or through the use of advanced telemetry to allow for price-responsive demand.

Yet one important question remains unanswered by this report: when a Distributed Energy System is large, but weather or other emergency conditions result in erratic operation of generation assets or DER assets—power grid electricity dispatch can be affected in ways the NYISO cannot see in real time. This can lead to inadvertent power surges, brown outs or other electrical disruptions when more or less power is provided than what has been initially dispatched to the area.

Learn about ECM’s ideas for paving the way for Microgrid and DER development:

ECM has a plan for managing many of these issues through our unique offering of energy procurement services. We can start you on your way to a Microgrid project by providing you with a feasibility study which maps your project from the concept stage right through to the production of the first kWh. To find out more about Microgrids and DER development with ECM’s team of experienced energy professionals, please contact Diana Farrell at