New York State Public Service Commission initiates study on building an affordable, clean modern grid

Published on April 22, 2024 by Chris Galford

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Billing the move as one to keep New York innovating, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York recently announced that a new proceeding from the New York State Public Service Commission, which will develop a comprehensive Grid of the Future plan to build a cleaner, more resilient grid.

“The Grid of the Future proceeding will help us establish deployment goals and strategies to help meet the State’s nation-leading clean energy goals in a way that protects the wallets of all New Yorkers,” Hochul said.

Smart grids and flexible resources will be the focus with this work, as the state considers items such as virtual power plants and contemplates the investments needed to enhance the grid. Engagement with stakeholders will be a major part of this, but to begin, the Public Service Commission will estimate the current and future potential capabilities of flexible resources as part of a grid flexibility study.

Along the way, the PSC will also identify near-term actions that could increase the deployment and use of flexible resources, as well as improved integration of those resources into grid planning and operations. From there, the PSC intends to launch the inaugural Grid of the Future Plan by Dec. 31, 2024.

“As customers continue to choose electric appliances, cars and heating sources which are increasingly connected through devices, such as smart thermostats or smart EV chargers, we have a once in a generation opportunity to harness the inherent value of the flexible grid services those resources can provide, offering customers the opportunity for significant utility bill savings, while enabling a cleaner, more flexible and resilient grid of the future here in New York,” PSC Chair Rory Christian said.

As this work gets underway, the commission anticipates creating policies inclusive of improved utility planning processes, new forms of compensation for customers who provide flexibility services, advancements in smart grid technologies, physical and cyber security protocols, and opportunities for customer savings.

An updated plan should be filed by Dec. 31, 2025, after stakeholder engagement over the initial plan and grid flexibility study.