NYSERDA Launches Tech Challenge to Improve Renewable Energy Integration


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making $30 million in funding available for the third round of the Future Grid Challenge for projects that identify solutions to the technical challenges of integrating renewable resources into the electric grid. Up to $3 million per project is available for single or team providers that propose to study, develop or demonstrate innovative technologies that support modern transmission and distribution. These efforts support New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to achieve 70% renewable electricity by 2030.

“With the release of this latest round of the Future Grid Challenge, we are seeking to support critical technology solutions that will allow the electric grid to continue to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy,” says Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “Investments in innovation are investments in a grid of the future that incorporates clean energy and allows for dynamic management and operation to ensure resilient and reliable transmission and distribution, even when factoring in the impacts of climate change.”

NYSERDA is seeking proposals that support implementing advanced technologies that can play a vital role in ensuring reliability of the transmission and distribution system, reducing cost, and allowing for faster integration of renewables, while helping the state to meet its ambitious climate goals. This challenge seeks to address high-priority grid technologies including power flow control devices; energy storage for transmission and distribution services; tools for improving operator situational awareness; transformer monitoring; advanced high-temperature, low sag conductors; compact tower design; distribution energy management systems; and grid impacts from offshore wind interconnection.

Solicitation proposals are due by 3:00 p.m. on November 2, 2022.

“Supporting the development of new technology is critically important as we deal aggressively with the need to create a clean energy grid,” comments Rory M. Christian, CEO of the Department of Public Service. “The new technology that will be created will help ensure transmission and distribution system reliability, while speeding integration of renewables that will assist New York in meeting its nation-leading climate goals.” 

The Future Grid Challenge is part of NYSERDA’s Smart Grid Program included in the State’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF) Grid Modernization Program, which is providing a total of $110 million through 2026 to further research, develop and provide funding for innovative solutions that support the advancement of a smart, modernized electric grid, remove barriers and enable the utility investments necessary for full deployment at scale of advanced technologies for the power grid. Since 2016, NYSERDA’s Smart Grid program has awarded approximately $57 million under 100 contracts to grid technology companies and research organizations for projects including low-cost, high-accuracy grid sensors, modeling and simulation tools, and advanced engineering solutions for more effective integration of renewable energy resources.

Administered by NYSERDA, the Future Grid Challenge offers funding to grid technology companies and research institutions that address challenges ranging from the need for greater real-time system data to incorporating smart technologies and energy storage into power grid planning and operations. Challenges are developed in partnership with the Joint Utilities of New York members Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, National Grid, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, and Orange & Rockland to accommodate renewable energy sources and understanding their impact on the transmission and distribution systems. Together, these utilities provide electric service to over 13 million households, businesses, and government facilities across the state.

Image: Sander Weeteling on Unsplash

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