Con Edison proposes customer-side storage to save on US$1bn of infrastructure investment

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One of the largest investor-owned utilities in the USA is looking to use a series of measures that are likely to include customer-side energy storage in order to stave off the need for US$1 billion worth of infrastructure investment.

Con Edison, which serves the New York area, submitted a petition to the state’s Public Utility Commission on 15 July to begin a new demand management programme in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Con Edison’s petition states that meeting increasing demand in some of its serviced areas, if unchecked, will require investment in substations that could cost as much as US$1 billion.

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If approved, the utility will add “non-traditional customer-side and utility-side electricity demand reduction solutions” to its existing programmes for demand management. The programme is aimed at reducing demand and one of the main measures for doing so would be the addition of 52MW of customer-sided demand management i.e. electricity storage, by 2018. 

In Con Edison’s petition to the commission, the mix of customer and utility-sided solutions is yet to be determined but it states:

“The Company’s proposal anticipates approximately three-quarters of the reduction would come from the customer-side, typically deployed on customer property and behind the customer’s meter, and the remainder from the utility-side, directly connected to the distribution network.”

Cosmin Laslau, an analyst with Colorado-based Lux Research, commented on the news for PV Tech Storage. He said that the announcement “fits into a larger pattern of developers increasingly looking to energy storage at relatively downsized scales – units designed for residential and small commercial applications.”

Laslau went on to explain that, closely following the work of companies such as Solarcity and Tesla, the deployment of storage to integrate solar at residential and small commercial scale will proliferate.

The full version of this story can be viewed at PV Tech Storage.

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