Electricity Sector Projects

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Massachusetts Electricity Sector Projects

New England Clean Energy Connect, Ameresco Five Massachusetts Solar Projects, Bay State Battery Storage And Offshore Wind Pairing, Tesla's 48 Mwh Energy Storage System Island Of Nantucket, MA, and Holyoke Gas & Electric 3/6 Megawatt Storage System are examples of electricity sector projects where there has either been significant smart grid development or utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in Massachusetts.

1. NEW ENGLAND CLEAN ENERGY CONNECT

  • The New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) is a project seeking to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy to the State of Massachusetts. The projects will deliver up to 1,200 MW of clean hydropower capable of reducing carbon emissions annually in the state by 3.1 million metric tons the equivalent of taking 660,000 cars off the road.
  • NECEC will reduce electricity costs by $3.9 billion over the next 20 years allowing Massachusetts residents to save over $150 million in electricity costs.
  • The project will deliver sufficient clean electricity for up to 1.2 million New England homes, and shield consumers against energy price spikes during peak demand in summer and winter.
  • Overall, the project will reduce energy costs for businesses, which will increase Massachusetts’ Gross Domestic Product by over $243 million annually and provide full-time jobs for approximately 2,000 individuals.

2. AMERESCO FIVE MASSACHUSETTS SOLAR PROJECTS

  • Ameresco Inc., a comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy company seeks to design, construct, finance, own and operate solar power systems on five facilities in Massachusetts.
  • The project is set to run for 20 years and includes provisions for Ameresco to purchase power at discounted rates and provide solar-generated electricity at a discount to their current electricity bills.
  • The five solar facilities will output an estimated 560 kW of electricity capacity and 700,000 kWh of annual electric energy. The projects will be installed on the rooftops of two Massport Logan Airport terminals, Bridgewater State College, Worcester State College, and the Canton Housing Authority.
  • The project parts will be locally sourced from various companies including Solectria in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

3. BAY STATE BATTERY STORAGE AND OFFSHORE WIND PAIRING

  • Bay State Wind, a 50-50 partnership company between Ørsted and Eversource, aims to collaborate with Massachusetts-based NEC Energy Solutions to develop an energy storage solution for its 800MW wind / 55 MW 110 MWh energy storage combined project.
  • The project expands Bay State Wind’s effort to facilitate and promote energy storage in Massachusetts. The collaboration will also strengthen the supply chain in the entire state, generate jobs, and establish Massachusetts as a leader in renewable energy.
  • The project will further develop flexible battery storage solutions to help the region overcome winter energy issues by delivering energy when it is needed most, which will in turn help to reduce winter peak energy prices and control price volatility.
  • Moreover, the robust battery storage system will support Massachusetts’ small businesses and consumers’ energy needs by ensuring a steady supply of energy to reduce high-demand energy spikes.

4. TESLA'S 48 MWH ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM ISLAND OF NANTUCKET, MA

  • Tesla recently installed a 48 MWh energy storage system to power the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
  • The installation follows rising population and increasing demand for energy, forcing smart innovations in implementing clean energy solutions that can supply more energy for less money.
  • Previously, the island of 10,000+ residents depended on energy sourced from the mainland system on Cape Cod via submarine cables and a diesel powered backup generator.
  • Tesla’s 6 MW/48 MWh battery energy storage system also deters infrastructure upgrades as it can delay the need for a third transmission cable by 15-20 years.
  • A total of 200 batteries make up the 48 MWh system, making it one of Tesla’s mega energy storage systems. Tesla’s storage system is also helping to restore power to Puerto Rico and is being used by an Australian-based solar and wind energy farm.

5. HOLYOKE GAS & ELECTRIC 3/6 MEGAWATT STORAGE SYSTEM

  • Holyoke Gas & Electric, a local utility in Massachusetts initiated a 3MW/6MWh battery storage system linked to an existing 5.8MW solar facility in western Massachusetts to help reduce its peak load.
  • Green Charge, an ENGIE NA subsidiary, will run the storage system that will store energy from Mt. Tom solar facility. The storage system will decrease local and regional peak loads.
  • The project’s objectives include reducing demand charges and stabilizing electric rates of a peak load of about 75 MW
  • With the state focused on delivering up to 200 MWh by January 1, 2020, such projects are examples of investments in non-wires alternatives to stabilize peak loads and deliver affordable and reliable clean energy.

Research Strategy:

To find examples of electricity sector projects where there has either been significant smart grid development or utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in Massachusetts, we started by examining government reports on smart energy development policies. We hoped to identify the core areas that the state of Massachusetts focuses on regarding the modernization of electric utilities. Next, we focused on exploring reports by key industry players. Further, we explored reports by energy utilities serving the region, in which, we found that most of them are investor-owned utilities, such as National Grid, Ameresco Inc., The Narragansett Electric Company, Holyoke Gas and Electric, NEC Energy Solutions, and Eversource. These utilities featured reports and case studies examples of mega projects, particularly in the energy storage segment, which the state of Massachusetts seems to focus on. We also explored external business reports such as Business Wire and science and technology news vendors like Futurism. Overall, these sources featured numerous projects on significant smart grid development or utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in Massachusetts. However, we only focused on private sector projects and excluded municipal, regional, or government focused smart energy projects.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

New York Electricity Sector Projects

Cenhub Peak Perks Program; Con Edison—Brooklyn Queens Demand Management; Brooklyn Microgrid (Bmg); Avangrid Flexible Interconnection Methods; and Orange And Rockland — Customer Engagement Platforms And Marketplaces are examples of electricity sector projects where there have either been significant smart grid development or utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in New York.

1. CENHUB PEAK PERKS PROGRAM

  • Powered by Central Hudson Gas & Electric, CenHub Peak Perks is a targeted demand management program that relieves constrained load pockets in the utility’s service territory of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley.
  • The project deploys an enterprise distributed energy resource management system, which coordinates several distributed energy resources and provides consumers with an integrated engagement portal to facilitate energy savings.
  • CenHub is the first production-sized non-wires alternative program in New York.
  • It is driven by an enterprise cloud-based software that leverages its integrated capabilities such as “a demand response management system, a customer engagement portal, and a customer care and work management system” to link data across all points in the utility.

2. CON EDISON—BROOKLYN QUEENS DEMAND MANAGEMENT

  • In the U.S., the Brooklyn Queens Demand Management program (BQDM) is one of the largest Non-Wires-Alternatives projects, with approximately 52 MW of traditional and non-traditional resources.
  • This project deploys a distributed energy resources technology to facilitate demand reduction and delay traditional infrastructure upgrades that also demand large investments.
  • The current project encompasses many other programs including “fuel cells; combined heat and power; energy efficiency projects; battery storage; solar photovoltaic (PV) systems; and conservation voltage optimization (CVO).”
  • The program has achieved its objectives by implementing both traditional and non-traditional customer side and utility-side solutions. Additionally, an approved extension of the project seeks to help meet additional load reduction needs.

3. BROOKLYN MICROGRID (BMG)

4. AVANGRID FLEXIBLE INTERCONNECTION METHODS

5. ORANGE AND ROCKLAND — CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PLATFORMS AND MARKETPLACES

  • Orange and Oakland utility sought to create and continue to expand a network of third-party product and service partners accessible through a Customer Engagement and Marketplace Platform (CEMP).
  • The project seeks to increase customer awareness and education of energy consumption issues, increase penetration of DER and participation in DER programs, develop new revenue streams for O&R and its partners, and encourage third-party providers’ participation."
  • The program targeted the utility’s expansive network in New York, with target groups broken down usage, and TOU metering with electric water heaters.
  • Overall, the projected resulted in the launch of a marketplace — (My ORU Store) to Orange and Rockland New York customers, with an assortment of products including WiFi thermostats, LED lighting, and air conditioning models.

Research Strategy:

In finding examples of electricity sector projects where there have either been significant smart grid development or utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in New York, the research team commenced by looking at reports published by key players in the sector such as Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), that facilitates the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean and modern energy future; Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA), a non-profit organization dubbed as the voice of load management practitioners; and E4TheFuture, a nonprofit organization advancing clean, efficient energy solutions and advocating for smart policy with an emphasis on residential solutions. These sources are among the voices championing for the transition to clean and smart energy. In these reports along with a consulting company — Scott Madden, we uncovered five examples of case studies demonstrating smart grid developments and projects in non-wires alternatives in New York. We also scoured various government agencies in the energy sector and smart energy solutions providers, particularly those focusing in the state of New York.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

New Jersey

Two examples of projects that have had significant smart grid development in New Jersey are the projects of Rockland Electric Company and Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L). More examples were not available in the public domain. Below is an overview of the findings.

NEW JERSEY- EXAMPLES OF ELECTRICITY SECTOR PROJECTS

1. ROCKLAND ELECTRIC COMPANY

  • Rockland Electric Company has implemented a smart grid program and installed an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, better known as smart meters, throughout its New Jersey service area.
  • The program was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) on Aug 23, 2017.
  • The company had invested $7.1 million in smart grid system automation.
  • Until May 2018, the company had installed approximately 1,500 devices and estimates that it would complete the full installation of electric smart meters at a cost of approximately $16.5 million.
  • Benefits of the program for customers include reduced meter reading and billing costs, faster power restoration in the event of an outage, and improved electric grid planning and operation.
  • Rockland Electric Company was the first company to install "smart" digital meters in New Jersey.


ABOUT SMART GRID
  • Smart meters are digital meters that record the use of electricity and are a common form of smart grid technology. Analog meters are being replaced by smart meters as they can transmit information on energy consumption more frequently to the utility than analog meters — a technology that requires a meter reader to transmit the information — can.


2. JERSEY CENTRAL POWER AND LIGHT (JCP&L)

  • JCP&L invested $359 million in its smart grid to improve its customer services to approximately 1.1 million consumers in 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey.
  • The company installed new communications technologies and devices such as transmission protective devices and circuit breakers within its grid network to improve remote-control capabilities of the energy distribution system.
  • The company’s 2018 project included installing new "smart" equipment at 54 sites on the distribution system to automatically restore power in case of an outage.

OTHER FINDINGS

PUBLIC SERVICE ELECTRIC & GAS (PSEG)

  • PSEG proposed to invest $291 million to convert the entire LIPA service territory to new smart meters by 2022.
  • The company also proposed to convert old meters to smart meters through 2022 and ultimately reduce rates for the company by $12 million.
  • The company is also proposing a $4 billion investment to cut New Jersey’s energy use and carbon emissions.
  • The investments will be made in energy storage, electric vehicles, advanced metering infrastructure, non-wires alternatives, volt-VAR optimization, energy efficiency, and smart homes.

ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC

  • The company will receive $18.7 million in federal funding to install a smart grid that will help prevent power outages and allow consumers to use less energy.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Our first strategy was to look for media articles and press releases (on sites like the Daily Energy Insider, PRNewswire, among others). This strategy helped to an extent as we were able to find two examples of private projects of the companies Rockland Electric Company and JCPL that have made significant smart grid development. However, we could not find examples for utilities that have invested in non-wires alternatives in New Jersey or more examples in smart grid development. We thought that this strategy may work as news sites often publish information on recent developments, industry trends, and other business related information.
Our second strategy was to look for information on the company websites of electricity utilities in New Jersey. We sought information on the websites of companies such as Kopp Electric Company and Atlantic Electric Company. This strategy did not work as there were no relevant projects found. Instead, these websites provided a general overview of the company, its services, and other general information. We thought this strategy may work as companies often publish information about their projects through their company website, blogs, and company news.
Our third strategy was to search for interviews of C-Suite executives of the private electric companies in New Jersey. We looked for information on sites like Business Insider, CNBC, and Fortune, among others. This strategy helped to an extent as we found a project concerning smart grid development, however, this project was in the proposal stage and not yet implemented. We thought this strategy may work as company executives often reveal details about company projects in interviews.

Our fourth strategy was to expand the scope and look for projects for older than 24 months. We searched for energy industry reports, articles, news publications, among others. This strategy did not work as there were no older projects found. Our idea behind this strategy was to find additional examples of smart grid or non-wire projects which could have been relevant to the request. We did find information on a proposed project of PSEG and a project of the Atlantic Electric Company which was funded by the Federal Government but did not match the criteria.

The reason the requested information was not available could be that the first smart grid projects started in the year 2018 in New Jersey and this is an emerging trend. Also, some companies like PSEG have proposed to install smart grids and have planned to invest in non-wires alternatives in the future.


Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "This is the first production-sized non-wires alternative project developed in response to New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) programme."
  • "The software also enables Central Hudson to build customised control strategies based on specific system requirements to allow precise delivery of execution for control events that deliver the required load shape."
Quotes
  • "In today’s electricity market, projects such as Con Edison’s Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) initiative are capturing public attention and inspiring decision makers to examine the potential of non-wires alternatives (NWAs)."
  • " In California, New York and a number of other regions, efforts are underway to examine the potential benefits DERs and their use in NWAs can provide to transmission and distribution systems."
  • "As of May 2018, New York utilities had 41 current and upcoming NWA procurements listed on the REV Connect site."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Rockland Electric began installing the meters in Bergen County, New Jersey, on May 1. It has already installed approximately 1,500 of the devices and estimates that it will complete full installation of electric smart meters in its service area in approximately one year at a cost of approximately $16.5 million."
Quotes
  • "The smart grid integrates state-of-the-art equipment and technology with advances in computer analysis, communications, monitoring and control to significantly enhance system reliability, efficiency and overall quality of service. "
  • "The program’s goal is to remotely isolate a problem on the system to reduce its impact on customers. This work should be particularly helpful in addressing weather-related tree interference issues in Wyckoff and surrounding towns. "
Quotes
  • "The $359 million smart grid investment falls under efforts by the utility to improve its customer services to some 1.1 million consumers in the company’s service territories in 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey."
  • "JCP&L will install new communication technologies and devices such as transmission protective devices and circuit breakers within its grid network to improve remote-control capabilities of the energy distribution system."