Executive Director's Update

Executive Director’s Update – January 2015Jim Gallagher


For our first e-newsletter of 2015, we wanted to provide you with updates on several Consortium-related activities.

For starters, I wanted to share an important development as it relates to the involvement of the Consortium in the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding.  In early January, the Department of Public Service (DPS) issued a ruling that the DPS Staff should immediately select, convene, and coordinate with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC), two expert groups addressing market design and platform technology.

Active support of the REV proceeding is a top priority for the Consortium and our members, so I am pleased that we are playing an integral role in the NY PSC’s Market Design and Platform Technology Group Process.  Our members represent some of the world’s leading utilities, technology providers, policy makers and research institutions, and they have fully recognized the importance of the Commission’s REV proceeding.

In addition, the Consortium has been actively engaged with Consortium member, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), on the NY Prize Community Microgrids program, including a recent webinar that I moderated.  Finally, we are excited to welcome three new Associate Members to the Consortium including SolarCity, Bloom Energy, and Direct Energy.

You will find additional updates on these REV working groups along with a number of key areas and initiatives below:

  • REV Market Design and Platform Technology Working Groups
  • NY Prize
  • New Members
  • Member Project Videos
  • Grid Related Research at New York State’s Universities
  • Microgrid Inventory and Case Studies Projects

REV Market Design and Platform Technology Working Groups
In late January, the Consortium co-facilitated the kick-off meeting for the Market Design and Platform Technology Working Groups.  The working groups will engage in and be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Providing the next level of detail regarding market design and platform technology needed to implement the Distributed System Platform (DSP) concept in the near and mid-term.
  • Making recommendations on key market design and platform technology elements (e.g., DSP functions and responsibilities, products to be exchanged, needed standards, etc.) that will be required in the near and mid-term.
  • Providing guidance on these issues to inform utility Distributed System Implementation Plans, to be filed with the Commission in December, 2015.

In the months ahead, the working groups will hold regular meetings to successfully complete their Market Design and Platform Technology work products, and we will provide periodic updates regarding progress.

Another key priority for the Consortium is to support the implementation of innovative smart grid projects across New York State.  We are actively engaged with the NYSERDA NY Prize program, which is a first-in-the-nation $40 million competition to engage communities in advancing plans for microgrids to improve local power infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced that NY Prize is accepting proposals for microgrids that meet energy and resiliency needs of local communities.  Applicants, which may include local governments, community organizations, non-profit entities, and for-profit companies, can now submit proposals for Stage 1 Feasibility Studies.  A link to the RFP can be found here.

In addition, I recently moderated a webinar on the NY Prize for over 400 interested parties that allowed them to learn more about the program from state officials including NYSERDA, NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, and the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS).

The presentation slides from the webinar may be found on the event page and a direct link to the slides is available here.  The audio recording from the webinar is also available on the event page, or by clicking here.

New Members
The Consortium recently announced that SolarCity has signed on as the Consortium’s first Associate Member within the “Industry” category.   In addition, during a recent meeting of the Consortium’s Board of Directors, two new Associate Members were approved – Bloom Energy and Direct Energy.  Here’s a bit more about our new members and the work they are doing in New York:

SolarCity – Solar power and distributed generation are fundamentally changing the way the grid operates.  As the nation’s #1 rooftop solar power provider, SolarCity serves thousands of consumers across 15 states with clean, affordable solar energy.  In New York, SolarCity has operations centers in Albany, Long Island, New Windsor and Westchester.  The company is currently building the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in the United States in Buffalo.

Bloom Energy – Bloom Energy is a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power from multiple fuel sources.  Bloom Energy is very active in New York including a recent project with Morgan Stanley that featured the installation of a new fuel cell system at its Purchase headquarters.  The project was supported by NYSERDA (a Consortium member).

Direct Energy – As one of North America’s largest competitive energy suppliers of electricity, natural gas and related services, Direct Energy offers a range of electricity and natural gas plans to business and residential customers.  Through product partnerships such as the Nest Learning Thermostat™, Honeywell Smart Thermostat and SmartThings™, Direct Energy is contributing to New York’s smart grid efforts by offering innovative energy savings options to its customers.

Since creating an Associate Membership level last year, we have now added four new members and received significant interest from a variety of organizations, which are currently under consideration by our Membership Review Committee.  Organizations that are interested in getting involved with the NYSSGC as a Full Member or Associate Member can request additional information online here.

Member Project Videos
The Consortium recently launched new series of Member Project videos, which will showcase the innovative work and projects that our members have undertaken to advance and modernize New York’s grid.  Our first Member Project spotlight is with President Anthony Collins of Clarkson University.  If you are interested in viewing the video, please click here.

Grid Related Research at New York State’s Universities
I wanted to let you know that the final version of the Grid Related Research at New York State’s Universities is now available on our website. This was a major undertaking and again I’d like to thank all of the universities that participated in this effort.  Now complete, this report will inform the next phase of research and gap analysis while utilizing initial results to facilitate collaboration among universities and key stakeholders to accelerate New York’s grid modernization efforts.

Microgrid Inventory and Case Study Projects
Finally, the Consortium and its contractor Navigant Research are nearing completion on the New York Microgrid Inventory and Case Studies projects.  We will share the final findings in the next month.  In the interim, information about the objectives and scope for the Microgrid Inventory project can be found here and the Case Studies project can be found here.
We hope these updates are useful and we encourage you to share with your colleagues and keep up to date on NYSSGC and industry news by following us on Twitter at @NYSSmart Grid and on LinkedIn.

Best Regards,
Jim Gallagher
Executive Director
New York State Smart Grid Consortium


Executive Director’s Update – September 2014Jim Gallagher


We have a lot of news to share with our members. In this edition of our e-newsletter, we wanted to provide you with updates on the following areas and initiatives in which the Consortium has been very active:

• NYS PSC’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Proceeding
• Webinar on REV Straw Proposal
• Residential Customer Survey Results
• NYSERDA Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Smart Grid Program
• Microgrid Inventory and Case Studies Project
• Inventory of NY State University Research Project
• Strengthening International Collaborations
• New Member Recruitment
• REV Proceedings

The Consortium was actively involved in Track 1 of the REV Proceeding, serving as a co-convener of the Platform Technology Group, leading a Microgrid sub-group on the “Social, Environmental, and Community Implications of Microgrids,” and participating in all the other Track 1 working groups and subgroups.

Working with its members and various stakeholders, the Consortium is now developing an important proposal “Identifying NY State DSP Business Architecture, Standards & Protocols” – important elements that are essential for the successful implementation of the Commission’s REV vision. We will be reaching out to Consortium members and other stakeholders during early September as we refine this proposal.

In the interim, the NY DPS Staff has issued a REV Straw Proposal (“Developing the REV Market in New York”), which I encourage you to review at the following link.

REV Webinar
To walk interested parties through the REV Straw Proposal, the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, in partnership with AGRION, will be hosting a webinar this week on Thursday, September 11th at 10am EDT. During the webinar, which will be moderated by the Consortium’s Executive Director Jim Gallagher, NY DPS Staff will review and discuss the highlights of the straw proposal, field questions from webinar participants, and review the process for filing comments and participating in the next track of the proceeding.

Residential Customer Survey
The NYS Smart Grid Consortium recently partnered with NYS DPS Staff and NYSERDA to conduct a survey of residential electricity customers in New York to inform the Commission’s REV proceeding. The Survey found that many place a high value on easy access to information regarding energy use, the price of electricity supply, and the ability to control energy costs. You can read the survey report here.

NYSERDA Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Smart Grid Program
In July, Governor Cuomo announced that $3.3 million has been awarded to seven research teams to develop technologies that add resiliency and efficiency to New York State’s electric grid. These rewards were part of NYSERDA’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Smart Grid Program. The Consortium supported a number of proposals that were successful in securing project funding including Clarkson University’s innovative microgrid project and Cornell University’s advanced microgrid project which will involve the advanced integration of distributed energy resources. In addition, Consortium members Con Edison and Brookhaven National Laboratory were successful in securing smart grid grant funds.

Microgrid Inventory and Case Studies Projects
The Consortium and and its contractor Navigant Research have made substantial progress on the Microgrid Inventory and Case Studies projects, which will be released this Fall. The information about the objectives and scope for the Microgrid Inventory project can be found here and the Case Studies project can be found here.

Inventory of NY State University Research Projects
The first part of the “Inventory of New York State Grid-Related Research Capabilities” is finished. The immediate goal of the project is to identify research capabilities related to grid modernization currently underway at universities in New York State. The results of this effort will lead to a second phase that will (a) showcase the innovative research underway at New York’s universities and research institutions, (b) identify any gaps where additional research is desirable, and (b) organize, promote and publicize these capabilities to relevant stakeholders.

International Collaborations
With respect to expanding the Consortium’s international collaboration, we recently participated in the launching of Denmark’s GreenTech Center, which is a smart grid laboratory designed to encourage research, education and innovation in emerging smartgrid technologies. The Consortium has been invited to partner in this initiative, at no cost to our members, along with other United States partners including the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The long-term objective is to collaborate and share mutually beneficial research and experiences between Denmark and New York, and a follow-up planning meeting is scheduled for mid-September in Brooklyn, New York. Further information on the GreenTech Center can be found at www.greentechcenter.dk.

New Member Recruitment
Finally, since announcing Smarter Grid Solutions as our first Associate Member, we have entered into active conversations with some interesting companies about potential Consortium membership. If you know of innovative grid related organizations that might be a good fit, you can find a description of all membership options and membership benefits on the website through this downloadable file. In addition, we have also created a NYSSGC fact sheet for those who would like more information on our members, vision and initiatives.

We hope these updates are useful and we encourage you to share with your colleagues and keep up to date on NYSSGC and industry news by following us on Twitter at @NYSSmart Grid and on LinkedIn.


Best Regards,
Jim Gallagher
Executive Director
New York State Smart Grid Consortium


Executive Director’s Update – January 2014


With 2014 off to a busy start for the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC), I am pleased to share with you our inaugural e-newsletter.  Our plan is to send this out regularly to share the latest news, events and developments for the Consortium and its members.  In addition, we’ll periodically send out alerts to highlight breaking smart grid-related items relevant to our industry.

In addition to welcoming you to our first e-newsletter, I did want to let you know that we continue to enhance the nyssmartgrid.com web site experience by adding new information and resources.  Earlier this year, we launched a new microgrid page, which we will be continuously updating as we identify materials of value on this important topic.  If there is something that you think we should include on this new microgrid section or to the web site – from your organization, or elsewhere – please email me at jgallagher@nyssmartgrid.com.

The Consortium has also been involved in several events and initiatives of note.  This Thursday morning, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the Consortium facilitated a successful webinar for over 90 members of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program that were interested in learning more about community-based microgrids.  This webinar is part of the ongoing support that the Consortium will be providing to the New York communities that will be participating in both the NY Rising program and the recently announced NYPrize initiatives.  A recording of the webinar will be available for viewing online next week at nyssmartgrid.com.

In addition, the Consortium and the Pew Charitable Trusts co-hosted a roundtable discussion earlier this week on the deployment of distributed generation technologies.  I’ll be sure to share some of the key findings with you as part of future updates.  Other upcoming events of interest are included in this newsletter and are also noted as part of our events calendar on the web site.

I hope you enjoy this e-newsletter and I encourage you to invite your colleagues to sign up for future updates from the Consortium at nyssmartgrid.com.  In addition, I urge you to follow us on Twitter @NYSSmart Grid.


Best Regards,
Jim Gallagher
Executive Director
New York State Smart Grid Consortium