Distributed generation in Con Edison’s service territories has grown by more than 134 MW since 2005, a nearly seven-fold increase. Ranging from photovoltaic solar panels to co-generation for heating and cooling systems in large Midtown office buildings, distributed generation provides an important resource that can help customers manage their energy use, reduce their environmental footprint, and support system reliability in their areas.
Renewable distributed generation alone is providing more than 18 MW of nameplate energy to the Con Edison system, and growing. Of the 1,500 distributed generation interconnection applications Con Edison has received since the program’s inception, 500 were submitted in 2012. This growth makes dollars and sense: for example, a commercial customer who installs a 6 kW photovoltaic system today will save nearly $1,400 per year in energy costs—potentially receiving a net payout as a result of Con Edison’s net-metering program. Projects in energy-constrained areas are also eligible for significant financial incentives through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) programs designed to defer infrastructure upgrades.
Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland employ dedicated staff to support customers interested in distributed generation and conduct customer-centered outreach activities to promote these resources. A semi-annual three-day training course for combined heat and power developers in New York City, for example, includes instruction from the New York City Fire Department on relevant fire codes, the New York City Department of Buildings on relevant building regulations, the NYSERDA on relevant incentive and rebate programs, and Con Edison on interconnection safety requirements and potential rate benefits. We have also supported customers by promoting changes to NYSERDA programs that previously blocked larger solar installations in the downstate region from receiving state financial incentives. As a result of these and other program changes, installing and interconnecting distributed generation today is easier than ever before.
In addition to important cost and reliability benefits, these resources avoided the release of over 7,800 tons of greenhouse gases into the air in 2012, significantly contributing to environmental goals.