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Easing Interconnection for Storage and Storage+DG: National Grid

Easing Interconnection for Storage and Storage+DG

Description of the Partnership Opportunity

National Grid seeks to support the company’s contribution towards NY State’s aggressive policy goals, which include targets of 3 GW of storage by 2030, 6 GW of solar PV by 2030, and 100% carbon neutrality by 2040.  National Grid also seeks to support the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and earnings adjustment mechanisms (EAMs), such as peak load reduction and Distributed Energy Resource (DER) utilitization and mega-watts interconnected.

To support these overarching goals, National Grid is seeking to develop solutions that will expand adoption of energy storage and other distributed generation (DG) across a variety of customer segments by improving the ease of DG interconnection.  As such, National Grid is seeking solutions that increase utility hosting capacity and/or reduce the time and cost required to interconnect Distributed Energy Resource (DER) systems, including storage-only and storage paired with distributed generation (DG), on the distribution network or located at a customer’s premises.

National Grid wishes to identify ideas that have a line of sight to a valuable and scalable solution. The final scope of the implementation of the developed solutions will be determined during the evaluation of the technology and business models proposed in this design sprint, though National Grid encourages market participants to make recommendations when submitting a concept as to how their concept would be implemented.

Initiatives pursued in response to this opportunity align with National Grid’s business objectives, including:

  • Take a leading role in the development storage in NY state with focus on maximizing storage value to support the local and wholesale operation needs of the grid and integration of renewable generation
  • Grow storage monitoring, control and optimal dispatch capabilities at all voltage levels of the grid
  • Expand on non-wires alternative (NWA) storage opportunities and use cases
  • Expanded storage into existing and future dynamic load management (DLM) programs in support to support local grid needs, energy procurements and support the integration of renewables
Top Goals and Objectives of This Opportunity

The objectives of this opportunity include:

  1. Leveraging innovative ideas to understand how National Grid could improve efficiency and ease of the interconnection process for energy storage systems, either on the electric distribution network or located at a customer’s premises, and to address system constraints while also recognizing the planned use case of the storage.
  2. Determining the value, including cost and time to interconnect, that could be created through improved interconnection standards and practices.
  3. Leveraging energy storage systems to increase hosting capacity and improve the efficiency ease of the interconnection of other DG, including renewable energy.
  4. Determining the value to the market or customers that a utility can bring through make-ready work by providing the electrical infrastructure to support the installation of energy storage and other DG.
  5. Developing solutions that can be standardized and scaled broadly across the variety and volume DG interconnection sites across National Grid’s territory.

All proposed solutions must include a proposed business model that addresses how costs will be allocated amongst the respective partners. The proposed business model must also demonstrate how the solution will achieve one or more of the following goals:

  1. Create net benefits for distribution customers through reductions in overall interconnection costs.
  2. Expand the hosting capacity for energy storage and other DERs.
  3. Reduce the time required for the interconnection of energy storage and other DERs.
Target Customers and/or Applications

National Grid will consider solutions for all customers and any applications that require an electrical connection for an energy storage system or other DG.

Partnerships being Considered

National Grid is seeking partnership structures with revenue sharing and which share risk and reward between the utility and the submitter. Submitters should also provide a clear timeline for deliverables and go/no-go stage gates at which National Grid and the company will decide if or how to proceed.

National Grid will consider submitter teams that include:

  • NYSERDA and PON funding or other funding opportunities (i.e. DOE FOA)
  • Additional company partners or subcontractors
  • Other utilities as partners

National Grid will also consider different ways in which the partnership could be implemented:

  • REV demonstration project (see link in Related Information)
  • More rapid and iterative testing and scaling
  • Other arrangements as proposed and justified by the submitter
Solutions Being Considered

National Grid is seeking solutions that will reduce the time and cost required to interconnect Distributed Energy Resource (DER) systems on the distribution network or located at a customer’s premises. This work should be focused on one or more of the following two focus areas:

  1. Ease interconnection of storage, including ideas that address:
    • Identification of good interconnection locations i.e. land, zoning, grid etc.
    • Proactive interconnection upgrades.
    • Make-ready work that would include secondary or primary service work to enable the interconnection of the storage and DG systems.
    • Lower cost upgrades or elimination of upgrades.
    • Control and protection schemes (including hardware and software) to prevent worst case storage dispatch scenarios, which are currently modeled in interconnection studies.
    • Provision of increased O&M and 24×7 support for entire electrical interconnection.
    • Both behind-the-meter (BTM) and front-of-the-meter (FTM) solutions will be considered
  2. Use of storage to ease DG interconnections via increased hosting capacity, including ideas that address:
    • New behind-the-meter dynamic load management programs and negative DR (charging storage to increase load and therefore increase hosting capacity)
    • Peer-to-peer business models and market transactions between storage owners and DG owners
    • Front-of-the-meter storage to increase hosting capacity
    • Dispatch of storage systems and programs including all forms of storage (i.e. electrical, thermal, compressed air etc.)

All proposed solutions must comply with cyber and legal requirements (DSA, NDA, Contract, MOU).

Potential Replicability and Scalability

In addition to supporting regulatory and company priorities, successful solutions from this pilot will be scalable in such a way that greater economies can be realized with greater adoption. Solutions must have line of sight to the value that will be created for customers and National Grid at scale.

If, through implementation, the solution is proven valuable to customers and the utility, there may be opportunity to apply the solution with other utilities in New York.

Solutions Not Being Considered
  • Traditional NWAs since these are already being addressed through NWA RFPs.
  • Electric Vehicle DC Fast Charging + Energy storage since this is already being tested by National Grid outside of New York.
  • Partnerships in which the submitter is looking for National Grid to fund the cost to generate and develop the idea or concept that is submitted to REV Connect.
Primary REV Objective

By easing interconnection with the use of storage, National Grid’s customers will benefit from increased resource diversity which in turn can support improved system efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.