- Representatives from New York's utilities met this week to discuss the process of procuring and implementing non-wires projects, highlighting how prevalent the approach has become.
- Consolidated Edison said it is continuing to seek additional load reduction for its Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management (BQDM) project, the first large non-wires alternative project in the state. But the utility also said it will not move forward with a trio of non-wires solutions (NWS) because it was unable to find sufficient cost-effective resources to provide load reduction.
- Most New York investor-owned utilities have non-wires projects in the works. Central Hudson, for instance, is seeking 10 MW of load reduction to defer an upcoming transmission investment.
BQDM is coming up on five years-old, meaning what was once a groundbreaking approach is now being replicated and refined.
First developed as part of New York's Reforming the Energy Vision process to overhaul the state's grid, NWS projects are now being embraced by more utilities. For example, Eversource Energy this month announced it would use efficiency and energy storage to maintain reliability in a small, rural New Hampshire town, rather than spend $6 million to construct a new 10-mile distribution circuit.
ConEd issued about eight requests for proposals in the last year related to NWS resources, according to Damei Jack, the company's manager of distributed resource integration.
Successful submissions include sufficient information to allow for a side-by-side comparison of resources, and should include an array of fuels to meet load reduction needs, utilizing a "portfolio approach," she said.
That can include "baseload" combined heat and power (CHP), energy storage, demand response and efficiency. But available options do not always pencil out. Three projects have been canceled, including the West 42nd Street Load Transfer and two smaller NWS.
The West 42nd project called for deferring a 55 MW load transfer beyond 2026, with 12 MW of load reduction needed by May 2021.
"Con Edison was unable to assemble a portfolio that would have cost-effectively provided enough load reduction," the utility said in a statement to Utility Dive.
As for BQDM, ConEd met its original load reduction goals under budget, and so continues "to pursue DERs in the three network areas with the existing approved funds." The utility says it had more than 50 MW of peak-hour, non-traditional, utility-side and customer-side solutions installed by the end of last year.
"We continue to contract and install energy efficiency measures and implement solutions such as fuel cells, CHP, and demand response," ConEd said. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, customer-side load relief commitments reached 40 MW, and the utility says 35 MW of that is operational between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.