Customer & Community
Energy Efficiency, Renewables & Distributed Energy
As part of our firm commitment to renewable energy, Con Edison’s Clean Energy Businesses continued growing by investing approximately $400 million in renewable projects in 2021 and operating a total of 3,061 megawatts of aggregate solar and wind capacity at the end of 2021. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY) and Orange & Rockland, Inc. (O&R) remain committed to the clean energy goals of both New York State and New York City. With ambitious targets for Distributed Solar, Energy Storage and Zero Emissions Vehicles, both Companies continue to work with policy makers and stakeholders to remove barriers to Distributed Generation (DG) interconnection. Both CECONY and O&R publish a Distributed System Implementation Plan every two years, most recently in June 2020, that serves as a five-year outlook in areas such as Integrated Planning, Information Sharing and Market Services. The Implementation Plan is used to engage the stakeholder community in the processes and programs that continue to shape the Distributed System Platform.
CECONY and O&R continue to participate in the Interconnection Technical Working Group (ITWG) and the Interconnection Policy Working Group (IPWG), in which we work with the DG community on issues that advance improvements in the Standard Interconnection Requirements (SIR) and policies that shape the connection process. In addition, both Companies continue to publish Hosting Capacity Maps for Distributed Solar and Electric Vehicle development. Through the bi-annual Hosting Capacity Stakeholder Working group we have most recently begun to solicit feedback and align on approaches to add Storage Hosting Capacity maps to the portal in 2022.
CECONY and O&R continue to work with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) on its implementation of a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Aggregator Market in compliance with FERC Order 2222. A DER Aggregator Market will allow smaller DGs connected on the distribution system to participate in the NYISO Wholesale Energy Market. Both Companies understand the need to continue to expand the value sets that DERs can leverage from the electric grid as well as use these resources to provide services that can enhance grid flexibility. Technology continues to be a valuable component to overall value and through an effort by the New York State utilities, there is an increasing focus on smart inverter functionality, which is the ability for an inverter to take operating signals and parameters and adjust based upon grid needs. Smart inverter functionality will be a core component to enhancing the relationship between the distribution system and DG.
Finally, CECONY and O&R recognize the value of increased data and information sharing. Beginning in 2021 and moving forward, CECONY and O&R are working with stakeholders and the PSC to investigate more efficient and robust means of exchanging system and customer data through the Integrated Energy Data Resource and Data Access Framework efforts.
Energy Efficiency & Demand Response
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY) and Orange & Rockland, Inc. (O&R) offer a broad array of energy efficiency initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower customer bills, and give New Yorkers control over their energy choices. CECONY and O&R are leaders in sustainability and have ramped up energy efficiency efforts that are facilitating New York’s ambitious clean energy goals. We are working with partners across our 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, CECONY and O&R are increasing its focus on achieving deeper and longer-lived energy efficiency savings by targeting more impactful technology upgrades.
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.
In 2021, CECONY provided electric and gas customers over $200 million in incentives to choose energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment. Customer upgrades last year made through CECONY energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 867,280 megawatt hours and saved 711,029 dekatherms of gas—that is the equivalent to taking more than 99,654 cars off the road or powering 55,180 homes for one year. Technology is giving households and businesses new ways to reduce energy use, and CECONY is at the forefront in helping customers get more value for their money while protecting the environment. In 2021, CECONY invested $97 million on over 9,700 customer projects installing heat pumps as part of our Clean Heat Program.
O&R customers who upgraded to high efficiency energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other energy efficient equipment received $5.0 million in incentives from us in 2021. O&R provides instant in-store rebates and on the MY ORU Store, our online customer marketplace, to make it easy for customers to make energy efficient choices. In addition, our Rockland Electric Company (RECO) customers now have the opportunity to participate in rebate programs with a portfolio of energy efficiency and demand response programs which launched in mid-2021. This three-year, $18.1 million plan will help customers reduce their energy bills, convert to clean heating technologies, reduce peak demand, and lower their carbon emissions.
The My ORU Store provides a one-stop shop, contact-less shopping experience by introducing customers to innovative smart home technologies, including smart thermostats, security cameras, smart plugs, wireless dimmable LED lighting, and electric vehicle chargers. Through instant rebates at checkout, incentives were given to customers to help lower cost and increase adoption of energy efficient technologies. Through the My ORU Store, O&R partnered with the local water utility, SUEZ NY, to support its water conservation program by offering instant rebates to mutual customers on water and energy efficient products. This collaboration continues to help customers save water and energy and in turn lower their utility bills.
Along with “virtual advisors”, available to help customers find appropriate products and services, the My ORU Store platform provides educational information about solar generation and energy storage, and renewable heat pump technology. More recently smart thermostat purchasers were given the opportunity to enroll in the demand response program during the online transaction process. By bundling offers, such as products and programs, the customer enrollment process is streamlined and program participation has increased. With the recent launch of energy efficiency programs in RECO’s New Jersey service territory, the My ORU Store platform was expanded to include a new platform for RECO customers. The platform, branded with the familiar RECO logo offers similar products, services, and online tools as well as rebates on electric measures including lighting, advanced power strips and smart thermostats.
O&R is using technology to give households and businesses new ways to reduce their energy use, and get more value for their money, all while supporting the environment. For example, in 2021, upgrades made by customers through our energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 73,000 megawatt hours and saved 37,000 dekatherms of gas. This reduced our carbon emissions by more than 194,000 tons, which is equivalent to taking more than 41,000 cars off the road.
Of the total O&R rebates issued in 2021, two projects stand out. An industrial recycling company upgraded its inefficient lighting with LEDs and received a rebate of $148,000, saving over 1,800 MWh, and a payback on its investment of just under two years. A local hospital received a $126,000 rebate to address inefficient lighting, saving over 1,265 MWh of energy.
Cumulative Annual Incremental CO2 Reductions Through Energy Efficiency Programs (metric tons)
Data is from CECONY + O&R
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY) and Orange & Rockland, Inc. (O&R) continue to support New York State’s ambitious clean energy policies, including the State’s goal to source 70% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, 100% greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)-free electricity by 2040, and an 85% reduction in New York State’s GHG emissions by 2050.
For the past decade, CECONY 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, our customers installed more than 581 megawatts of clean, renewable power by year-end 2021. This total includes 42,992 CECONY installations and 10,659 O&R installations.
Con Edison Inc. 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.
CECONY continues to explore opportunities to be more innovative in renewable and energy storage installations. In 2021, CECONY relaunched a piloted device, ConnectDER, enabling residential customers to realize additional savings while providing the Company’s engineering teams with solar production data to better forecast and plan system needs. CECONY 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.
O&R continues interconnecting distributed energy resources (DER) at an increasing rate, and is actively seeking opportunities to increase hosting capacity. O&R is participating in a Smart Inverter Working Group to establish best practices for enabling smart inverter technology throughout the service territory. O&R began the NSYERDA PON 4128 Smart Inverter project that will test smart inverter functionality in a laboratory environment, and then install the inverters in the field to confirm system interoperability. O&R continued participation in the IEEE Interconnection Commissioning Program to identify, train and certify individuals for the commissioning of any installed DER interconnection to enhance compliance with IEEE 1547, which informs critical utility engineering and business practices for DERs in markets worldwide. A streamlined, standards-based process for interconnecting renewables and other DERs could reduce the cost and complexity among utilities, developers, and owners.
The O&R Clean Heat program exceeded our expectations in 2021, achieving twice the annual target for heat pump energy savings. Both contractors and customers are realizing the benefits of this efficient clean heat renewable alternative that significantly saves energy and reduces carbon emissions compared to the fossil fuel alternatives.
Through these initiatives, CECONY and O&R are helping realize a greener energy future.
As noted above, both CECONY and O&R continue efforts to expand distributed solar and other distributed energy resources throughout each service territory. The chart below shows cumulative interconnection for distributed solar since 2019:
Cumulative Utility Customer Solar MW Installation
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY) and Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is helping New York achieve its ambitious energy storage goals of 1,500 megawatts (MW) by 2025 and 6,000MW2 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 State’s Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support storage policy goals.
In 2019, CECONY and O&R issued a request for proposals (RFP) as part of our bulk solicitation program that solicited dispatch rights to utility-scale storage projects connected directly to the grid. The first project awarded a contract as a part of the bulk storage solicitation program is a 100MW energy storage system being developed on the previous site of the Poletti Gas Turbine Plant in Astoria, Queens. This project is one of many CECONY plans to award in order to achieve a minimum of 300 MW of energy storage dispatch rights. The next round of projects, subject of an RFP released July 2021, will target operation in 2025. While O&R did not identify a winner for its first round of solicitation for its bulk storage effort, O&R subsequently amended its RFP to take into account feedback from the vendor community. O&R released an RFP for the second round of solicitation in 2021 and is currently in the process of evaluating the various vendor bids and identifying at least 10 MW of battery storage in the O&R service territory. CECONY and O&R are also leading a variety of projects and programs where we are testing new storage business models, building utility capabilities, engaging third party providers, and supporting customers to interconnect energy storage.
Through 2021, CECONY has interconnected a total of 275 distribution-connected energy storage systems, totaling 18.3 MW of capacity, and O&R also interconnected 117 total projects for a total of 4.7 MW. Of the 117 O&R projects, 115 were behind-the-meter residential energy storage systems, totaling 1.1 MW of capacity. In 2018, CECONY commissioned its first utility-owned storage project, a lithium-iron phosphate battery designed for 2 MW / 12 megawatt hours (MWh) 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 23 times to provide demand relief during summer heat. CECONY plans to use this battery to provide market services to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). Building on this model, CECONY requested funding and received authorization for both utility-owned and third party-owned “make ready” energy storage in its current rate case covering 2019 – 2022. CECONY will be installing a utility-owned 7.5 MW / 30 MWh battery energy storage system at a Staten Island substation to provide peak shaving, demand 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 storage system may provide market services to the NYISO. CECONY will also be working on a first-of-its-kind “make ready” storage model for the co-location of 4.95 MW / 15.6 MWH of energy storage and 18 electric vehicle charging (EVC) stations on utility property with public access to EVC. CECONY is facilitating direct access to the distribution grid to monetize multiple value streams and develop a better understanding of how energy storage can facilitate the adoption of EVC on the grid through localized peak demand management.
O&R commissioned its first utility-owned storage project in Pomona, NY in December 2020. The battery storage system is currently 3 MW/12 MWh with the potential to be upgraded to 4.5 MW/ 18 MWh. O&R currently maintains operational control over the Pomona battery storage system to support the reliability of its distribution system and provide peak demand reduction. The Pomona battery storage system has successfully provided peak demand reduction and enhanced system reliability. Following its initial energization in December 2020, O&R dispatched the battery storage system throughout the summer of 2021 for demand relief purposes. O&R’s visibility into its distribution system needs allows it to dispatch the battery storage system when beneficial to the system. To date, the battery storage system has been discharged for demand relief only during the summer period and otherwise is not in use.
CECONY and O&R continues to implement energy storage demonstration projects to test new business models. As part of the 4 MW/ 4 MWh customer-sited business model demonstration, Beyond behind-the-meter (BTM) will deploy front-of-the-meter storage at up to four customer sites to provide grid support. Two sites are operational and a third is expected to be commissioned in early 2022. Each project will provide distribution demand and voltage relief and reduce network peak demand while testing the ability to collect revenues for participating in NYISO markets.
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. O&R is working with its vendor Sunrun to explore how residential solar-plus-storage systems can provide resiliency benefits to customers, provide demand relief benefits to the utility’s local distribution system and also earn additional revenues from participating in NYISO electricity markets. O&R plans to deploy at least 300 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 MW / 4.7 MWh. This project will also be the first of its kind to participate in the NYISO wholesale market. In recent years, due to FERC Order 2222, distributed energy resources (DER) aggregation philosophy has gained traction. This project with aggregated of residential solar and storage systems will be bid into the NYISO market when NYISO allows enrollment of DER aggregation into the wholesale market.
CECONY and O&R also supports energy storage through Non-Wire Solutions (NWS, also sometimes referred to as Non-Wires Alternatives (NWA)). Both Companies consider and often include storage as a significant portion of our demand relief portfolios. CECONY is supporting and incenting third-party owned and operated energy storage for local demand relief as an integral part of the portfolio of solutions in three program areas across eight distribution networks: Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management (Crown Heights, Ridgewood, and Richmond Hill), Water Street/Plymouth (Williamsburg and Prospect Park) and Newtown (Borden, Sunnyside, and Maspeth). CECONY’s NWS projects group have installed 4.8 MW of energy storage as of 2021, with an additional 10.3 MW contracted for commercial operation in 2023.
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 demand growth in the Monsey area, the current substation will not have adequate capacity to serve the forecasted demand. The Monsey non-wires alternative plans to deploy a portfolio of 15 MW / 58 MWh batteries at three separate locations in the Monsey area to defer the upgrade of this substation. The Monsey project is currently going through the siting and permitting process. After successful completion of siting and permitting O&R will execute a contract with the vendor to install the battery systems. O&R also recently executed a contract for the West Warwick NWA project. This project will use three separate energy storage systems to address distribution system constraints. The project will use a total of 12 MW / 57 MWh battery to defer the construction of a new transmission/distribution substation. O&R expects the batteries to be deployed and fully operations for summer 2022. O&R has also held several outreach discussions with the local town and the first responders to address concerns that they may have.
O&R has also recently identified a successful NWA project to move forward. The Sparkill NWA is a 2 MW/12 MWh project located in the Hamlet of Sparkill in the town of Orangetown. The project has successfully passed the benefits-cost analysis and is net positive. This project will be moving forward in the future with an expected in-service date of 2023. The procurement process for the Sparkill NWA project will start shortly.
O&R is also conducting direct procurement of battery storage assets. O&R plans to procure 6MW/24MWh of energy storage systems to provide for demand in their rapidly growing Woodbury area. These batteries will be owned by O&R. O&R expects to release an RFP for the battery procurement in 2022 with an in-service date of 2024 for the battery systems.
Con Edison built on the success of the existing demand response programs by releasing a second Dynamic Load Management RFP in November of 2021. This solicitation is anticipated to give energy storage systems participating in demand response revenue certainty, which is expected to decrease barriers to installing energy storage in the service territories. Winners of the RFP will have 3 to 5-year contracts starting in 2023 to provide demand relief when called upon. These longer-term contracts are expected to provide revenue certainty for distribution services. This should provide energy storage developers more opportunity to participate compared with the existing demand response programs, especially the Auto-DLM Program which places a premium on rapid response.
Past programs managed by CECONY to further the proliferation of energy storage included a Demand Management Program that incented 1.5 MW of lithium ion and valve-regulated lead acid chemistries between 2017-2019.
CECONY 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. CECONY engages with City and State agencies and storage stakeholders on storage matters including the development of emergency response procedures, technical requirements, and energy storage rules. CECONY will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to advance the safe installation and operation of energy storage systems in New York.
O&R has also led multiple initiatives to educate and inform their various “authorities having jurisdiction” (AHJs). As municipalities update their local zoning and permitting to incorporate battery storage systems (both front of the meter and behind the meter batteries), O&R has taken an active role to make sure proper requirements are being reflected for storage in these local zoning laws. O&R recently met with concerned neighbors and town officials to inform them about battery storage systems, their benefits and their various safety systems. O&R is also taking an active role in informing and educating the first responders and fire departments on the safety aspect of energy storage systems. O&R wants first responders to understand the various safety aspects built into energy storage systems and their role in case of any battery emergencies. O&R is addressing questions from all stakeholders on both “Front of the Meter” storage and “Behind the Meter Storage”. On multiple occasions O&R worked with industry professionals and external vendors to bring in safety experts that successfully addressed all concerns from local fire department and local AHJs.
CECONY, in its 2022 rate case, is proposing to establish a new Energy Storage Organization to develop an enterprise-wide storage strategy and implementation plan. The Storage Organization will provide operational and performance monitoring for all storage assets and delivery channels, as well as program development to create new products and deployment channels to achieve the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) storage goals. The organization will be comprised of analysts to support the policy and strategy functions, project and program managers to support bulk procurement and program management, subject matter experts who will support the shared services functions, and engineers, construction, and maintenance personnel to support distribution projects.
Energy storage is a transformational technology that can provide numerous benefits to the electric system, and ultimately, to electric customers. CECONY and O&R envision a future in which 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 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.
2 Note this was increased from 3,000 MW to a target of 6,000 MW by 2030 as per Governor Hochul’s New York State of the State Address.