ConEd, Viridity, Boeing Seek $46M in Fed Funds for NY Smart Grid Efforts

ConEd, Viridity, Boeing Seek $46M in Fed Funds for NY Smart Grid Efforts

Consolidated Edison Inc. is partnering with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Viridity Energy, the Boeing Company, Columbia University and others to apply for $46 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund demonstration projects for a $435 million smart grid program.

The utility and its project partners announced the application yesterday. It follows an application earlier in August for $172 million in Recovery Act funds for projects to broaden the reach of the utility's efforts in the smart grid arena.

Using the area served by the Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. and Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc. -- both subsidiaries of Consolidated Edison Inc. -- as a base, the various test projects that make up a large-scale demonstration are intended to show how integration of smart grid information, communication and other innovative technology can make energy generation and delivery systems, buildings and other energy users more efficient, in addition to modernizing the existing electric grid.

An updated and upgraded system would support alternative energy sources, promote and facilitate adoption of electric vehicle charging, and enhance system reliability, according to project partners. They say the utility's 3 million customers in New York City, its suburbs and New Jersey are ideal as a test bed because the service area represents one of the higher load densities in the world and a diversity of customers (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional) in urban and suburban settings.

Aspects of the smart grid demonstration program call for the utility to work with:

• The New York City Economic Development Corporation and Viridity Energy to optimize advanced building technologies and solar generation from the Brooklyn Army Terminal and other city-owned property to provide clean, virtual power generation.

• The Boeing Company to create a secure and comprehensive common operating environment and command-control network for the smart grid.

• Columbia University, the Prosser Group and CALM Energy on technology that enables increased use of renewable energy, provides intelligent energy storage and incorporates capabilities for maintenance and "self-healing" to reduce chance of system failure.

Rudin Management Company Inc. customers to demonstrate emergency response and energy efficiency improvements.

The DOE has said it plans to distribute $3.9 billion in Recovery Act funds for smart grid projects in two waves. The first opportunity involves $3.3 billion to fund deployment and implementation of smart grid technologies across the country. The second allots $615 million for smart grid demonstration projects.

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