Customer & Community
Energy Efficiency, Renewables & Distributed Energy
As part of our continuous commitment to renewable energy, Con Edison’s Clean Energy Businesses continued growing by investing approximately $240 million in renewable projects in 2019, expanding its footprint to 19 states and operating a total of 2,682 megawatts of aggregate solar and wind capacity at the end of 2019.
Renewable sources, such as solar and wind, produce energy when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. That makes battery storage especially important to store power when it is produced and deliver it when it is needed. Storage can help ensure reliability and can reduce peak demand. Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses added a dedicated battery storage team in the fourth quarter of 2018 to position itself for the emerging growth of energy storage. They are actively integrating storage into new renewable development as well as into operating assets where economical and are offering battery storage for projects they are developing on behalf of their renewable energy and energy efficiency customers.
We continue to make our customers aware of energy efficiency improvements that will help them save money on their bills and give them more control over their energy usage. We work regularly with customers and regulators to test new models for the distribution of energy.
Annual Incremental CO2 Reductions Through Energy Efficiency Programs (metric tons)
Energy Efficiency & Demand Response
Con Edison and O&R offer a broad array of energy efficiency initiatives designed to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, lower customer bills, and give New Yorkers control over their energy choices.
Our customers are as diverse as the area we serve. That’s why we have targeted efficiency programs to help us deliver cost-effective and customer-centric energy efficiency offerings that emphasize the clear benefits and impacts of energy efficiency. We focus on four primary customer segments—commercial and industrial, small business, multifamily, and residential—designing our offerings to meet each customer group’s needs. Our goal is to give customers multiple options and opportunities to reduce their energy use.
Con Edison’s electric customers who chose energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment received $102.4 million in incentives in 2019, a 50.3% increase from the previous year. Our gas customers received $12.6 million in incentives, a 13.3% increase from the previous year. Technology is giving households and businesses new ways to reduce energy use, and we’re at the forefront of helping customers get more value for their money while protecting the environment. Upgrades made by customers last year through our energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 561,347 megawatt hours and saved 546,410 dekatherms of gas—that’s equivalent to taking more than 90,404 cars off the road or powering 49,135 homes for one year. The proposals would put New Yorkers on a path toward a cleaner energy future, with reductions in carbon emissions and more renewable energy options that achieve goals in both the short term and potentially through 2050.
Con Edison Inc. is a leader in sustainability and has ramped up energy efficiency efforts that are facilitating New York’s ambitious clean energy goals. We are working with partners across the service territory to better serve low- and moderate-income customers as well as providing choices to our customer to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels through adoption of beneficial electrification technologies such as heat pumps and electric transportation. Additionally, Con Edison is increasing its focus on achieving deeper and longer-lived energy efficiency savings by targeting more impactful technology upgrades.
O&R customers who upgraded to high efficiency energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment received $5.4 million in incentives from us in 2019, a 98% increase from the previous year. As a result of these upgrades, more than 14,000 O&R customers reduced their bills and lowered their carbon footprint. The My ORU Store, our online customer marketplace, provided a one-stop shopping experience for customers by introducing them to innovative smart home technologies, including smart thermostats, security cameras, smart plugs, wireless dimmable lighting, and electric vehicle chargers. Through instant rebates at checkout, incentives were given to customers to help lower costs and increase adoption of energy efficient technologies. Through the My ORU Store, O&R partnered with the local water utility, SUEZ NY, to support their water conservation program by offering instant rebates to mutual customers on water and energy efficient products. The program strives to help customers save water and energy and in turn lower their utility bills.
We are on the forefront of using technology to give households and businesses new ways to reduce their energy use, get more value for their money, while protecting the environment. For example, upgrades made by customers through our energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 53,373 megawatt hours and saved 31,001 dekatherms of gas. This increased our carbon reduction by more than 133,000 tons, which is equivalent to taking more than 30,000 cars off the road.
Of the total O&R rebates issued in 2019, two large projects stand out. Rockland Community College installed a combined heat and power system with an estimated savings of 3,832 megawatt hours, which is equal to approximately $650,000 per year. This concludes a three-year energy savings project that addressed several opportunities at the college including lighting, an integrated building management system, variable speed drives, and a computer load management system. Secondly, a town in Rockland County upgraded all of their street lights to LED lighting and is estimated to save 863 megawatt hours, or about $147,000 per year.
Learn more about how energy efficiency upgrades can save money and protect the environment at our website www.oru.com/save.
Reforming the Energy Vision Projects
Con Edison continues to take a leading role in facilitating the adoption of distributed energy resources by our customers through non-wires solutions. The Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management program eliminated the need for a $1.2 billion substation to serve customers in Brooklyn and Queens by implementing smart thermostats, LED lighting upgrades, lighting controls, energy storage, combined heat and power, and other distributed energy resources to meet the demands of customers during peak periods. We’re currently implementing additional non-wires programs in the Water Street and Plymouth Street substation networks. In these communities we are focusing on energy efficiency measures, and energy storage to meet grid needs.
Additionally, our Customer Energy Solutions group is running new business model demonstrations in the areas of storage integration, electric vehicle infrastructure, community distributed generation, energy efficiency, and delivering energy services to low- and middle-income customers. For example, two front-of-the-meter storage projects, which demonstrate both grid support and energy market revenue-sharing partners, were selected through a rigorous RFI process and are in the construction stage. One low- and middle-income demonstration project is progressing seeking to deliver packages of energy efficiency measures to this customer segment. Three electric vehicle infrastructure projects that facilitate growth and reduce barriers to EV ownership are expected to make substantial progress in 2020, including a project in White Plains where electric school buses will feed battery power back into the grid. We also have a new electric vehicle comparison shopping site, cars.coned.com. A pilot program will see up to 3 megawatts of solar panels installed across a number of company rooftops to create a community solar project for low- and middle-income customers.
Con Edison and O&R continue to support New York’s ambitious clean energy policies, including the state’s goal to source 70% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
For the past decade, Con Edison and O&R, along with Sustainable CUNY at City University of New York, government agencies, and other parties, have encouraged residents and businesses to consider solar to reduce their energy bills and protect the environment. Our customers are responding. Using the power of the sun, we generated more than 275 megawatts of clean, renewable power by year-end 2019. A total of 30,138 Con Edison installations and 8,597 O&R installations are generating enough renewable energy to power almost 65,000 homes.
Con Edison Cumulative Installed Distributed Energy Resources Capacity (MW) *through December 2019
- Combined Heat & Poweron
- Fuel Cellon
- Energy Storageon
Con Edison believes that all customers should have access to clean energy, regardless of income level, whether they own or rent or whether they live in a house or an apartment.
Con Edison continues to explore opportunities to be more innovative in renewable and energy storage installations. Through a piloted device, ConnectDER, residential customers witnessed additional savings that allowed a cost-effective alternative to the traditional solar installation, while providing Con Edison’s engineering teams with solar production data to better forecast and plan system needs. Con Edison also enhanced microprocessor relays to allow additional solar capacity to export power into our network systems, enabling the construction of additional community solar projects at higher capacities across the territory.
Lastly, innovation in battery installations will provide power when and where customers need it the most, via the mobile emergency battery generator pilot. The effort replaces diesel emergency generators during outages with a clean, quiet source of energy.
O&R has automated interconnection studies and other aspects of the interconnection process to assist customers with technical evaluations of projects for distributed energy resources. O&R is connecting community DG and battery storage projects at an increasing rate. The company participated in the Enabling Extreme Real-Time Grid Integration of Solar Energy project, or ENERGISE, that will help develop the technology and strategy to improve the electric grid’s ability to accommodate power generated from renewable energy sources. O&R is participating in NYSERDA PON 3770 Smart Inverter Settings Guidance for High Performing Smart Grid Applications project that will inform utilities on best practices for enabling smart inverter technology. O&R has also applied for NYSERDA PON 4074 Distribution System of the Future project that become the model of future distribution systems.
Through these initiatives, Con Edison and O&R are helping realize a greener energy future.
Cumulative Utility Customer Solar MW Installation (MWs)
Con Edison and O&R are helping New York achieve its ambitious energy storage goals of 1,500 megawatts by 2025 and 3,000 megawatts by 2030 through a variety of efforts. Energy storage plays a critical role in our clean energy future and we continue to actively engage with the city’s department of public service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support storage policy goals. In 2019, we developed and implemented a request for proposals that targeted utility-scale storage projects connected directly to the grid. We are negotiating contracts with selected projects which are expected to be in service by the end of 2022. We are also leading a variety of projects and programs where we are test new business models, build utility capabilities, engage third party providers, and support customers to interconnect energy storage.
Through 2019, Con Edison has interconnected a total of 47 behind-the-meter energy storage systems, totaling 8,042 kilowatts of capacity, and O&R also interconnected 73 behind-the-meter energy storage systems, totaling 610 kilowatts of capacity. In 2018, Con Edison commissioned its first utility-owned storage project, a lithium-iron phosphate battery designed for 2 megawatts / 11 megawatt-hours in Ozone Park, Queens. The battery was built to provide grid support in the Brooklyn Queens Demand Management area. Last year, the battery was deployed six times to provide load relief during summer heat related events. In 2020, Con Edison plans to use this battery to provide market services to the New York Independent System Operator. Building on this model, Con Edison requested funding and received authorization for both utility owned and third party owned “make ready” energy storage in the recent rate case filing. We will be installing a utility-owned battery at a Staten Island substation to provide peak shaving, system load relief, system support to absorb power during periods of high customer solar output, and replace temporary fossil generators needed during system contingencies. In addition, this battery will participate in the NYISO electricity markets. We will also be interconnecting a first-of-its-kind “make ready” storage model for the co-location of 10 megawatts / 40 megawatt-hours of energy storage and multiple electric vehicle charging stations on utility property. We are facilitating direct access to the distribution grid to monetize multiple value streams and developing a better understanding of how energy storage can facilitate the adoption of EV charging on the grid through localized peak demand management.
Con Edison and O&R continue to implement energy storage demonstration projects to test new business models. Con Edison is advancing its Storage-on-Demand demonstration, a 1.5 megawatt / 4 megawatt-hour mobile storage model that will deploy three separate 500 kilowatts / 1.34 megawatt-hour mobile storage trailers to areas of grid need—in areas of local grid constraint or locations that may have otherwise been temporarily served by diesel generators. Con Edison expects commercial operations to begin in late 2020. As part of the 4 megawatt / 4 megawatt-hour customer-sited business model demonstration, Beyond BTM, will deploy front-of-the-meter storage at up to four customer sites to provide grid support. Two of the projects are expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2020 with the remaining two projects to be completed later this year. Each project will provide distribution load and voltage relief and reduce network peak demand while testing the ability to garner revenues for participating in NYISO markets. Con Edison is also testing how technology, such as energy storage combined with solar, could be used to help customers respond to more dynamic rates. In our Smart Home Rate demonstration project, up to 100 participants with rooftop solar photovoltaic systems will receive storage systems with advanced controls, for customers use in optimizing their overall usage, taking into account the output of their rooftop photovoltaic systems and the timing of their storage charge and discharge.
Through its Innovative Storage Business Model demonstration project, O&R is working with partners to develop innovative business models for driving down the cost of energy storage investments by enabling storage assets to participate in multiple markets, providing benefits and incentives to multiple stakeholders. We’re working with a vendor to explore how residential solar plus storage systems can be leveraged to provide resiliency benefits to customers, provide load relief benefits to the utility’s local distribution system and also earn additional revenues from participating in NYISO electricity markets. We plan to deploy at least 400 residential solar plus storage systems within the next three years as part of this demonstration project. The total project portfolio will be approximately 2.1 megawatts / 4.7 megawatt-hours.
Con Edison and O&R also support energy storage through non-wires solutions (sometimes referred to as non-wires alternatives). Both companies consider and often include storage as part of our load relief portfolios. Con Edison is supporting and incentivizing third-party owned and operated energy storage for local load relief as part of its Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management program. Completed and in operation demand management projects include a 300 kilowatts / 1.2 megawatt-hour storage system at the Marcus Garvey apartment complex in Brooklyn and a 4.8 megawatts / 16.4 megawatt-hour system at Gateway Center—the largest grid support battery system in New York City to date. Con Edison is also engaged in procurements for energy storage dispatch rights from projects to be developed under our Water Street and Newtown programs.
O&R has two open procurements for energy storage systems to meet distribution system needs in place of traditional utility solutions. O&R’s Monsey project will aim to defer the upgrade of an existing substation. Due to extensive load growth in the Monsey area, the current substation does not have adequate capacity to serve the forecasted load. The Monsey non-wires alternative plans to deploy a portfolio of 15 megawatts / 58 megawatt-hour batteries at three separate locations in the Monsey area to defer the upgrade of this substation. O&R is also developing an energy storage system that will be utility-owned and installed on property jointly owned by Con Edison and O&R in Pomona. The project will use a 3 megawatt / 12 megawatt-hour battery to defer the construction of a new transmission/distribution substation. Both the Pomona and Monsey projects are currently in the contract negotiation process with their respective winning vendors. O&R expects the Pomona Battery to be deployed by the summer of 2020. O&R is also currently soliciting vendors for two additional non-wires alternatives RFPs (West Warwick and Mountain Lodge Park). These two projects may also include battery storage projects in the technology portfolio. In 2020, O&R plans to release three additional non wires solicitations.
Con Edison’s 2017-2019 demand management program was a market transformational effort targeting system peak demand reduction during the summer peak of 2 to 6 p.m. Through this program, Con Edison incentivized energy storage systems across the service territory and supported the advanced technology through contributing to energy storage certifications and testing aligned with industry best practices. The program installed roughly 1.5 megawatts over the course of the three-year program in both lithium ion and valve regulated lead acid chemistries.
Con Edison continues to take the lead in addressing energy storage safety and zoning concerns, working closely with New York City’s department of buildings, fire department, the mayor’s office of sustainability, and department of city planning, as well as battery technology developers and NYSERDA. Con Edison proactively engages with City and State agencies and storage stakeholders on storage issues including the development of emergency response procedures, technical requirements, and energy storage rules. Con Edison will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to advance the safe installation and operations of energy storage systems in New York.
O&R has also led multiple initiatives to educate and inform their various “authorities having jurisdictions.” These include multiple meetings with the local town and county fire departments and first responders to discuss energy storage systems and address any questions they might have on battery storage safety. As local towns and municipalities are updating their local zoning and permitting to incorporate battery storage systems, O&R has taken an active role to make sure proper requirements are being reflected for storage. O&R also held a battery fire prevention seminar for the county of Rockland, to facilitate discussion between all the stakeholders. This seminar was conducted by a retired FDNY lieutenant who is well-known and widely recognized as a battery safety and fire prevention expert.
Energy storage is a transformational technology that can provide numerous benefits to the electric system, and ultimately, to electric customers. Con Edison and O&R envision a future where storage provides support to our electric delivery system, enables the operation of intermittent renewable resources, and reduces GHG emissions and other local emissions. Declining costs and broader proliferation of storage will help customers and communities adopt these technologies. Storage will allow for customers to manage their usage, participate in energy programs, respond to more cost-reflective rate designs, such as hourly pricing and demand-based rate structures, and integrate new applications, like EV charging.