Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul Opens NY Solar (+Storage) Summit

June 27, 2017

CUNY Summit Outlines Path to Solar (+Storage) on NY’s Grid

NEW YORK, NY – Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul opened the 11th annual NY Solar (+Storage) Summit on June 21st, convened by Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York at John Jay College in Manhattan. The Summit featured a progress update on the innovative steps the Empire State is taking to transition to a 21st Century Grid. New York’s utility leaders highlighted onstage the key ways their grids are integrating renewable energy and storage as a result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ”Reforming the Energy Vision” plan. The Summit featured details on the work New York is actively engaged in to prepare the State for the broad scale adoption of solar+storage and saw the launch of an online tool, “NYC Grid Ready”, which will help America’s largest city encourage commercial solar installations.  In addition, Sustainable CUNY’s NY Solar Ombudsmen and three dozen subject matter experts led the Summit attendees in ‘Distributed Conversations’, catalyzing interactive discussions among  industry and community leaders that resulted in dozens of suggested actions that can help New York State achieve its energy and climate goals. Summit Agenda

“New York State has embarked on one of the most ambitious clean energy strategies in the US, and one of the pillars of these efforts is the expansion of solar onto our grid,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, keynote speaker at today’s summit. “Since 2011, state-supported solar has meant we’ve seen New York solar grow nearly 800 percent, a critical factor in moving us toward our goal of 50 percent renewable energy sources by 2030. As a founding member in the new US Climate Alliance and determination to follow the terms of the Paris Accord, New York State remains at the forefront of the energy revolution, here at home and globally.”

“Energy storage is integral to the efforts New York is making under its Clean Energy Standard to have 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2030,” said Janet Joseph, Vice President of Innovation and Strategy, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “Energy storage supports Governor Cuomo’s commitment to building resiliency and reliability into our energy infrastructure.”

“More solar power and storage means more jobs and better access to affordable, clean energy for all New Yorkers,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “CUNY’s work and partnership has allowed NYC to set ever bolder targets and help our neighborhoods, businesses and public services make the switch to a cleaner and more resilient electricity grid faster.”

 “The CUNY Solar+Storage summit couldn’t come at a more opportune moment. Stockpiling today’s sunlight (instead of coal, which is ancient sunlight) is a critical element to building the secure, clean, resilient power system our nation’s military leaders are calling for,” said Miranda Ballentine, former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy.  “This conference brings together policy makers, Wall Street, and technologists to bust through the inertia of 19th century energy systems. The United States can, and must, lead the world in this transition.”

“Sustainable CUNY’s role, as a trusted third party has never been more important. Despite the ever-changing political and atmospheric climate, the demand for power is unabated. Our strategic partnerships with New York State and City agencies, municipalities and more than 70 utility, industry and other organizations advances solar, and now solar+storage and helps address climate change,” said Tria Case, the University Director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation.  “The Chancellor of the City University of New York signed on to the ‘We Are Still In’ commitment to the critical goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.  The future of our planet depends upon the kinds of actions that our University, City and State are already taking to create a clean-energy future.”

“NYC Grid Ready is another high-technology tool that will help New York City continue its move toward clean, renewable energy,” said Robert Schimmenti, senior vice president, Electric Operations, for Con Edison. “Con Edison is pleased to have contributed to the development of this tool, which will help our city and state meet their renewable energy goals. We want to play a lead role in the transformation of our industry into one that gives customers more access to clean energy and information they need to make decisions about their usage.”

“As part of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), we are bringing the environmental and economic benefits of solar to the communities we serve throughout New York State. We have connected record levels of large commercial solar projects to our electric grid — at a 50% lower connection cost than in the past”, said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York. “Our REV neighborhood rooftop solar pilot in Buffalo will aggregate the power from up to 100 neighborhood solar installations and share the benefits with low income residents who otherwise might not be in a position to install solar on their own. We are actively working to pilot new technologies to help move the entire industry towards a more sustainable clean energy future for our large and small customers and for the local communities we serve.”

NYC Grid Ready Map Layer Will Help NYC Grow Large PV Market

There are more than one million buildings in the five boroughs of New York City; however, determining how many of these rooftops are candidates for large-scale solar systems and how it would affect the grid was a challenge. Sustainable CUNY, working with Con Edison, analyzed the solar potential and technical risk factors for grid interconnection for all NYC buildings capable of hosting photovoltaic (PV) systems over 200 kW-AC. A new layer on the NY Solar Map shows whether buildings may or may not face interconnection issues, as well as a guide to the order of magnitude of costs for typical mitigation strategies. The NYC Grid Ready Solar project is supported by the NY-Sun Initiative and led by Sustainable CUNY in collaboration with Con Edison, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Smart DG Hub Developing Streamlined Pathway

An afternoon panel provided details on the work that Sustainable CUNY’s Smart DG Hub and partners are doing to help create the solar+storage pathway to the marketplace. Collaborative Working Groups that include municipal, agency, industry, fire departments and utility decision makers are key to the progress in both solar and solar+storage, and are developing resources such as the NYC Resilient Solar Roadmap, which can be found at nysolarmap.com. The current effort, supported by NYSERDA, includes developing a flexible energy storage tool kit for both municipalities and vendors that includes permitting, siting, application review processes and interagency streamlining guides. The DG Hub, working with NYSERDA, is facilitating weekly meetings with the Fire Department of New York as they establish protocols for integrating batteries into NYC’s dense urban environment.  In addition, the DG Hub has formed a ‘Value of Resiliency’ (VoR) Strategy Team to engage subject matter experts in three key stakeholder communities: Insurance, Government Policy, and Banking. The goal is to develop actionable industry and policy guidelines and recommended incentives for consumers who add resilient solar systems to their properties.

Prime sponsors of the 11th annual NY Solar Summit include the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Con Edison.