NYSERDA RPS reports

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which manages the states Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), has recently released reports regarding the program. The RPS sets targets (25% by 2013, 30% by 2015) for the portion of New York’s energy mix deriving from renewable resources including wind.

New York Renewable Portfolio Standard, Program Evaluation Report, 2009 Review of March 31, 2009.

The report presents key findings and recommendations provided by KEMA, Inc. and Summit Blue Consulting, LLC in their role as independent evaluation contractors. Findings are based on the scope and timing of the research conducted by the contractors, and the recommendations provided are not necessarily being advanced by NYSERDA or DPS Staff.

Findings include:

  • The wind potential in New York is being developed at a pace exceeding other states with more abundant wind resources, indicating in part, the Program’s positive influence on wind development.
  • The evaluation concluded that the RPS Program is being administered efficiently and with due diligence concerning ratepayer funding risks. Nevertheless, currently approved funding levels are inadequate to meet the 2013 targets.
  • The RPS Program has cost-effectively achieved new renewable energy capacity in New York. The Main Tier is highly cost-effective with a program administrative benefit-cost ratio exceeding 6 to 1. The specified benefits include investment and wages in the New York economy, electricity price suppression at the wholesale level, and environmental benefits in the form of avoided air pollution emissions. The specified costs include NYSERDA’s cost to administer the program and the payments to developers under contract for RPS Program attributes.

New York Renewable Portfolio Standard Market Conditions Assessment Final Report, Prepared by Summit Blue Consulting LLC. The report indicates:

The assessment finds that New York’s RPS has played a critical role in advancing renewable energy markets in the State to date. In particular, long-term contracts offered under the Main Tier program have proven valuable in driving the development of large-scale projects in the State. However, budget limitations and other program design elements, as well as market barriers beyond the State’s control, will limit market growth potential going forward. A number of actions NYSERDA and the State should consider taking to advance New York’s renewable energy markets in the future are recommended. Press release 4/20 here.

New York Main Tier RPS Impact & Process Evaluation of March 2009. Prepared by KEMA, Inc. for NYSERDA. Among its recommendations:

  • New York should consider alternative forums for working with wind and demand response providers to develop new solutions to transmission and distribution congestion issues. A starting point for this may be facilitated meetings on future transmission impacts, participation in the dayahead market and assignment of dispatch base-points for wind operators.

Blogger Attempts to Smart Grid with National Grid

This entry is not directly related to wind energy. For those who would be disappointed, please read no further.

Rather, this entry deals more generally with smart energy choices. In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, and with familial support, this blogger is attempting to use smart grid technology to make his energy use choices, well, smarter.

It describes, in reverse chronological order (i.e., most recent first), my efforts to obtain and use a smart meter for electricity consumption at my house.

April 23, 2009

Times Union piece discussing redaction of large parts of National Grid’s PSC filing on its smart meter plan.

April 18, 2009

As part of a test run, National Grid will be installing smart meters from Saratoga to Clifton Park (and in the Syracuse area). Customer savings expected to be 5%.  National Grid press release, 4/17 and   Schenectady Daily Gazette, 4/18

April 10, 2009: Official request made

I have executed and mailed to National Grid the contract described below.

April 1, 2009: Correspondence from National Grid

National Grid mailed on this date, and I received soon thereafter, a letter inviting me to participate in smart metering program, and a one-year contract. The big concern I have is that the letter says that participation will likely result in savings if my usage is greater than 2500 kwh per month (and I can shift 80% of it to off-peak times). As indicated below, the initial bill insert suggested I may receive savings if my usage were 750 kwh per month and I could shift 12% to shoulder peak and 80% to off-peak times. (My usage is around 1100 kwh per month.) Boy do I need a spreadsheet.

March 31, 2009: From National Grid via email

I spoke with the accounting supervisor this am. She will pull your request to the top of the pile. The new meter set will be ordered today. We have to ship the new meter in from Syracuse. Once the meter arrives in Albany our Service Department will complete the change out. On another note.. The 750kWh monthly would be the minimum. Our phone reps are told to be somewhat conservative in their approach to this rate. Not all people are so willing to shift their consumption patterns as you are. Thanks for your patience on this matter.

March 30, 2009: From National Grid rep via email

I have been asked to follow up on your recent rate change to SC-1C for your home account. I have a call into our accounts processing department for an update on the status of your request. I do see that you made the request back on 2/22/09. Once the supervisor gets a chance to investigate, I will let you know when the change should be completed. In the meantime should you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct at [number redacted].

and a bit later in the day:

Have you had the opportunity to review historic time of use pricing? Here is the link to review. https://www.nationalgridus.com/niagaramohawk/home/rates/4_elec_supply.asp

Make sure you use “Capital” as the load zone. Select rate SC-1C and the dates. You will see the on and off peak pricing for commodity.

I’ve responded indicating that I am interested “in knowing what your estimate is of what usage level (assuming the requisite shift to non peak hours) makes participation economical for the household” as there appeared to be a disconnect between what my bill said and what the representative I spoke with on February 22 said.

March 27, 2009: Very fast response by National Grid

As the first comment below indicates, National Grid responded within 7 hours of this posting. Very much appreciated.

March 26, 2009: Not smart metering yet.

I recently received a bill (see redacted copy below) from my electricity provider, National Grid. The bill indicated that if my usage were over 750kWh, and I could shift at least 92 % of my usage to non peak  (12% shoulder peak, 80% off peak) hours, I “may benefit” from the smart meter rates. That is the crux of the smart meter “win” for consumers. If you can use energy during times of low demand, you should pay lower rates for the juice. It’s a “win” for the grid and everyone else, too, as it reduces strain on the system during peak times. Review the peak and non-peak hours in the bill below and the logic will jump out at you.

National Grid smart meter offer

National Grid smart meter offer

I attempted to visit the website location indicated, http://nationalgridus.com/sc1c. No luck there (though I was able to find some smart meter rate information by poking around on the site).  So I called National Grid, on or about March 7 [actually, February 22 per National Grid – see above]. Maybe a week earlier. The person who attended my call was helpful, though did not know much about the program. The information she had suggested I would need to have more than 750 kWh in usage to realize savings, but it still seemed possible, especially considering what I know, or think I know, about my electricity consumption habits. She knew I would need a new meter on my house. She said she would pass my information along to the right person, who would contact me to get the new meter installed.

To date, no one from National Grid has contacted me.  I’ll call again soon if I don’t hear. (If you’re from National Grid and reading this, hey, have someone give me a call.)

If you have a smart grid/ smart meter story from New York, either pro or con, please leave a comment here.

In the meantime, you may want to read about the use of existing wireless networks for the smart  grid system, the savings in energy consumption a smart grid can generate, Google’s foray into the smart meter space (and brewing turf war over who owns or controls the smart meter data).

[first entry published 3/27/2009 at http://windpowerlaw.info/2009/03/27/blogger-attempts-to-smart-grid-with-national-grid]

Wind energy developments in NYS and the USA

New York wind developments

Proposed Fresh Kills (Staten Island) wind farm update. Staten Island Advance 3/16

Consolidated Edison and Long Island Power Authority announce plan to take 350-700 MW offshore project planning the next step. LIPA and Con Edison will work with the state, the New York Power Authority, New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority to issue a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) for off-shore wind development.  Con-Ed 3/23

NYISO, New York’s electric grid operator, asks Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow Limited Energy Storage Resources (LESR) – which includes battery and flywheel technologies – to provide the “regulation” service needed to balance electrical supply and demand on the grid. NYISO is requesting FERC to approve changes in the NYISO tariff to permit LESRs to provide regulation service by mid-May 2009. NYISO 3/24

More on Governor Paterson’s apparent interest in scaling back the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce carbon emissions. Albany Times Union 3/23 More on RGGI here at NYSERDA’s website.

State has mixed success making goal of having renewables (the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS) be substantial part of energy consumption mix. Associated Press in Newsday 3/22

Schenectady-based GE shoots for five-fold increase in European turbine sales in 2009. Reuters 3/16

USA wind developments

Acting FERC chair favors enhanced national transmission line system. Wall Street Journal 3/19

With a hyperbolic headline about hypobaric trauma, this article discusses how research from Iberdrola Renewables suggests cutting off turbines at low wind speeds may result in fewer bat deaths. Washington Times 3/23

New report released by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory for wind developers.

The purpose of this report is to both quantitatively and qualitatively analyze, from the project developer/owner perspective, the choice between the PTC and the ITC (or equivalent cash grant) for a number of different renewable power technologies.

LBNL and NREL (by Mark Bolinger, Ryan Wiser, Karlynn Cory and Ted James), March 2009

NYS wind power developments

From news and web sources:

Cattaraugus County legislature to take part in panel analyzing wind farm tax incentives. Buffalo News, 2/27

Town of Hartsville enacts one-year wind development moratorium. Canisteo Valley News, 2/26 &  Hornell Evening Tribune 2/27

NYISO announces that for first time ever, wind power contributes 1,000 MW to the grid, at approximately 6:00 p.m. on February 19. NYISO, 2/26. See related opinion piece in Albany Times Union, 3/1.

Town of Orleans discusses low frequency sound and wind turbines. Watertown Daily Times, 2/27

Town of Richmondville examines wind development law. Times Journal, 2/25

Babcock & Brown conducts balloon test demonstrating  height of turbines in Town of Westfield. Such balloon tests will be used by the company to produce visual simulations of the turbines from various vantage points.  Post-Journal, 2/27

NYS wind power news

From recent press reports

Profile in the Albany Times Union of Stephen Whitley, new chief executive of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which manages New York’s electric grid. Whitley is a wind power proponent. 12/23

Stanford study: wind power best electricity generation source

Interesting study out of Stanford University by Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering.

According to Stanford:

Jacobson has conducted the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. His findings indicate that the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options.

Standford press release here. The release indicates that “Jacobson received no funding from any interest group, company or government agency.”

Study online at the Journal of Energy & Environmental Science.

Three-minute video of Prof. Jacobson discussing results of the study here.

NYISO releases wind energy-related white papers

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which manages the state’s electricity grid, recently released three white papers that relate to the integration of wind generation facilities into New York’s grid.

We understand that NYISO welcomes comments on them. Comments to NYISO should be directed to Kathleen Carrigan, Acting VP of External Affairs, NYISO, kcarrigan [at] nyiso.com.

The white papers discuss System Dispatch, Fuel Diversity,  and Transmission Expansion. Per NYISO, the reports are:

Integration of Wind into System Dispatch
Incorporating significant wind powered generation is a key to achieving the goals of New York State’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The NYISO has introduced system and operating changes to better utilize New York State’s existing wind resources, and pave the way for their continued growth. Those efforts and proposals for further enhancements are detailed in the NYISO white paper.

The purpose of this paper is to review work done to date, identify the current challenges of integrating large amounts of wind generation into the New York transmission system, and propose changes to the market rules that will improve the reliable dispatch of wind resources in New York State.

Transmission Expansion in New York State
Since 2000, more than 6,500 MW of new generation has been developed, predominantly in the regions of New York State with the greatest demand for power, and nearly 1,000 MW of transmission has been added to bring more power into those regions. However, there has not been a major high-voltage transmission addition inside the state for over 20 years. The NYISO white paper, prepared with assistance from Energy Security Analysis, Inc. (ESAI), reviews transmission planning processes and investment activity in New York State and neighboring regions.

The NYISO worked with ESAI to draft this Transmission Expansion White Paper in order to review the potential and actual drivers of transmission expansion activities in New York State and its neighboring control areas. While PJM and ISO-NE have facilitated a great deal of investment in transmission expansion projects to address reliability, it appears that the NYISO will be able to best promote transmission expansion through the development of its economic planning process and the Congestion Assessment and Resource Integration Studies which will begin after the 2009 CRP is issued.

Fuel Diversity in the New York Electricity Market
Fuel diversity is a crucial component of the reliable and efficient operation of wholesale electricity systems. This NYISO white paper, developed with assistance from the Analysis Group, explores the significance of fuel diversity and its impact on the New York electricity market.

This paper identifies trends that have led to the electric industry’s focus on fuel diversity. It examines various meanings of fuel diversity within an electricity market; discusses various economic, reliability and environmental dimensions of fuel diversity; explores the impacts of various events on fuel or technology-dependent energy systems; looks at approaches used in other regions to address fuel diversity; and identifies options to address fuel diversity that are both well aligned and poorly aligned with New York’s electricity markets.

Thanks to ACE-NY for flagging these reports.