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Innovation Opportunities

New York is looking for innovative solutions and partnerships to modernize its energy system

A lot has changed since REV Connect was first launched in 2017! Most notably, in 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) establishing targets for New York State’s clean energy future. At the same time, the utilities and NYSERDA have continued to design and deploy innovation projects and programs to support this vision.

In 2020, the REV Connect team assessed how energy innovation in New York can contribute to achieving targets set out in the Climate Act, both within and beyond the REV Connect platform. REV Connect will host Innovation Sprints on the top priorities in need of innovation, many of which are currently underserved by utility and State initiatives.

Submit your idea to REV Connect if your innovative solution addresses one of the opportunities below. Submissions will be evaluated for a potential partnership with the State’s utilities. Curious about how to proceed? Learn more about our process and criteria.

Priorities for 2020 and Beyond

Driven by utility and stakeholder input, REV Connect refreshed and ranked 12 Innovation Opportunities that highlight key energy innovation needs for New York State. As the energy landscape in New York State evolves, REV Connect will adapt to meet the needs of the moment. For now, our top two priorities, Grid-Edge Flexibility and Accelerating the Gas Transition, will be addressed in our 2021 Innovation Sprints.

Top Priority

Based upon discussions with nearly 50 stakeholders from utilities, state agencies, and third-party organizations, we identified the following areas as top innovation priorities for REV Connect Innovation Sprints in 2021 that tie back to goals identified in the Climate Act:

    • Grid-Edge Flexibility: The need for innovative solutions that will help maximize grid and end-use (“Grid-Interactive”) flexibility, i.e., load control and optimization, to balance the system at a 70% renewables generation mix by 2030.
    • Accelerating the Gas Transition: The need for innovative solutions that will help New York State decarbonize a large portion of its thermal load that is currently met with fossil fuels as it transitions to a low-carbon future.

Secondary Priority

Secondary priority areas were identified as those that need innovation and implementation support, but which will be addressed in other ways outside of REV Connect Sprints. Submissions to these areas are welcome at any time.

    • Optimized Distribution: Encourage integration of the grid and other infrastructure to enable increased electrification and an electricity mix with a higher share of renewables while maintaining reliability by deploying alternatives to traditional grid-side solutions. Ideas in this area can also be addressed through utility initiatives and the NYSERDA Smart Grid Program.
    • Customer Engagement: Enable customer education and outreach in engaging ways to achieve Climate Act targets that require individual decision making. This is a cross-cutting innovation need that applies to all opportunities, to the extent that they require customer acquisition or direct interface with end users.

Other Innovation Opportunities

We also remain engaged in other innovation areas that have had Innovation Sprints through REV Connect in the past and for which there is robust activity underway in New York State. Innovative submissions in these areas may be submitted to REV Connect; however, we are focusing on our top priorities.

    • AMI Network Access: New York State utilities are expanding their technology and telecommunications systems to enable advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and are partnering with metering, network, and IT companies to begin rolling out AMI to customers across the state.
    • Clean Heating and Cooling: New York State utilities are looking to help reduce the substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heating and cooling buildings to support the state’s GHG reduction goal of 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. This opportunity is different from the recently added Accelerating the Gas Transition Opportunity due to its focus on consumer-side thermal solutions, many of which are already being addressed through the Clean Heat Program.
    • Connected Communities: New York State utilities are striving to offer New Yorkers more options to choose low-carbon, grid-interactive solutions that provide electric grid benefits and make progress toward the State’s clean energy goals.
    • Data Services: New York State utilities are expanding their data analytics capabilities as part of their evolution to distributed system platforms (DSP) and are looking at ways to monetize the data and capabilities from these platforms.
    • Electrifying Transportation: New York State utilities are looking to make it easier for New Yorkers to choose electric vehicles (EVs) in support of electric grid benefits and the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gases 40% from 1990 levels by 2030.
    • Energy Storage: New York State utilities are looking to deploy greater amounts of energy storage to improve system reliability, resiliency and efficiency, and facilitate integration of renewables and electrification to support New York State’s clean energy goals.
    • Solutions for LMI Customers: New York State utilities are striving to make energy efficiency and clean energy solutions affordable for low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers.

What This Means For You

Going forward, REV Connect will focus its efforts on top priority need areas, including 2021 Innovation Sprints on Grid-Edge Flexibility and Accelerating the Gas Transition, while remaining open to immediate utility needs and ad-hoc market submissions relating to other Innovation Opportunities.

As part of this effort to focus REV Connect on delivering impact, we will be updating our approach, including process, criteria, and forms, to:

        • Deliver value to customers and New York State in support of the Climate Act
        • Drive ideas through to implementation
        • Facilitate connection to funding pathways

We know innovation today is needed to scale tomorrow and to reach the ambitious goals for New York State laid out in the Climate Act. When we work together, support each other, and evolve the REV Connect platform where needed, we can achieve these ambitious goals!