Optimized Distribution solutions encourage the 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. These are needed to cost-effectively realize the goals laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). For example, utilities need location-specific granular long-term load and generation forecasts, including adoption forecasts for EVs, storage, and heat pumps, to manage assets in an increasingly decentralized grid. Innovations in this area will allow New York State to achieve a 70% renewables generation mix while maintaining the necessary reliability standards we all expect and require.
Optimized Distribution needs can be addressed with a variety of solutions. Here are some illustrative examples, and we expect even more solutions could address this Innovation Opportunity:
This Opportunity differs from the existing Grid-Edge Flexibility Opportunity by focusing on utility system-side, front-of-the-meter innovation, rather than behind-the-meter solutions. However, we anticipate that some submissions could apply to both Opportunities, and welcome relevant distribution-integrated solutions in the Grid-Edge Flexibility innovation sprint.
REV Connect accepts submissions to this Opportunity on an open-enrollment basis, as described in Our Process. The NYSERDA Smart Grid Program also provides a forum for funding these ideas, including soliciting ideas focused on long-duration thermal storage and managed charging, to be detailed later this year.
If you have a solution in this area, you can also explore these funding pathways:
Similarly, utilities may highlight flexibility needs within the Smart Grid Program via the Future Grid Initiative.