New York PSC to hold May 13 conference on combined heat and power

Albany, NY—05/03/13—The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) today announced that a technical conference will be held to explore the current regulatory structure as it applies to developing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facilities and identify ways to ensure regulations do not place unnecessary roadblocks regarding CHP development.

The conference will help to further recommendations made by Governor Cuomo’s NYS2100 Commission. The NYS2100 Commission was appointed by Governor Cuomo after Superstorm Sandy to recommend ways to strengthen and make more resilient the State’s infrastructure. Among the recommendations: expand use of distributed generation and CHP applications as a way to improve storm resiliency.

The localized generation of energy can reduce a facility’s vulnerability to electric distribution system outages and decrease peak demands on the electric grid. According to NYS2100, during Superstorm Sandy, when the electricity from Con Edison’s distribution network failed, the cogeneration plant installed at New York University (NYU) began running in “island-mode.” Although normally connected to the grid to export and import electricity when needed, the plant switched to micro-grid operation. The plant burns natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines to produce both electricity and heat. The system was able to keep the larger buildings and core of the Washington Square campus heated and powered throughout the storm and in the weeks that followed, while surrounding buildings were cold and dark.

Other cogeneration facilities were also able to keep the lights on during the superstorm using micro-grids, such as Co-Op City (the largest cooperative housing development in the world) and One Penn Plaza.

Common CHP equipment includes engine-driven generators, micro-turbines, steam turbines, and fuel cells. CHP customers include industrial, commercial, institutional, and multifamily residential facilities. CHP systems can be used to produce a portion of the electricity needed by a facility some or all of the time, with the balance of electric needs satisfied by purchase from the grid.

The conference is set for Monday, May 13, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the NYU Kimmel Center. Attendees will discuss current PSC jurisdictional regulatory structure related to CHP, interaction between utilities and CHP developers, and opportunities for improvement.

The conference will feature discussion of PSC-directed programs promoting CHP; PSC and Department of Environmental Conservation CHP regulations; and New York City’s efforts to facilitate technology development. Luncheon speaker Katrina Pielli, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy, will outline the Federal government’s perspective on CHP development. Commission Chairman Garry Brown will provide opening remarks.

To register for this event, go to: http://PECC.eventbee.com/event?eid=140102315.