The recently announced Demand Management Program by ConEd includes significant incentives for both thermal and electricity storage technologies. If the plan moves ahead, the NYC area could be home to more energy storage than almost any other state by summer 2016.

The Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd) provides electric service in New York City (except for a small area of Queens) and most of Westchester County. The regulated utility also provides natural gas service in Manhattan, the Bronx, and parts of Queens and Westchester. Furthermore, ConEd owns and operates one of the world’s largest district steam system, providing steam service in most of Manhattan.

The utility's Demand Management Program plan was launched in collaboration with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Their goal is to achieve 125 Megawatts (MW) of permanent peak load reductions through the installation of technologies including energy storage, HVAC controllers, and efficient lighting. Within energy storage technologies, the plan is focused on thermal and battery storage technologies.

As shown below, the new incentives are quite large compared to previous incentives. For thermal and battery storage technologies, the previous $600 per kilowatt (kW) incentive jumped to $2,600 and $2,100 per kW, respectively. The incentive for demand response enablement quadrupled. Finally, incentives that were purely on a generation ($/kWh) basis can now receive a capacity incentive ($/kW) on top. ConEd is also encouraging their customers to switch some of their electric air conditioners to other fuels.

Larger projects receive bonuses, based on their total capacity.

Any project that cashes in on these incentives has to be both installed and operational by June 1, 2016.

By targeting technologies that can reduce summer peak loads - the maximum energy demand levels the utility experiences during the season - ConEd would presumably reduce some of the pressure they are feeling with the potential closure of the 2 Gigawatt (GW) Indian Point Nuclear Facility.

Furthermore, ConEd could increase the flexibility of the local electricity system. According to the International Energy Agency, flexibility is a key component in successfully increasing the use of variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar power.

Photo Credit:

1. Photo of night lights in NYC via pixabay and exists in the public domain.

2. Charts of incentives and incentive bonuses from Consolidated Edison.