In 2018, SECC will be recognizing a member each month, providing an organizational profile and highlighting the member's accomplishments and output in the smart energy space.
You’ve likely heard of National Grid, one of the largest investor-owned utility companies in the world, but have you heard of National Grid’s New Energy Solutions (NES)? They are a dedicated team of utility professionals innovating sustainable energy solutions for their customers to increase the quality of their lives, while delivering savings and preserving the environment for future generations.
Simply put: NES is building the “Utility of the Future” for their customers and communities.
The New Energy Solutions team was created in 2015 with a specific focus in mind – to deliver innovations, technologies and partnerships that drive cleaner energy, as well as to improve efficiency, affordability and choice for their customers. Since its creation, they have implemented various programs and projects across their service areas of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island, which include the following.
To assist the state of Massachusetts in growing demand for “green” transportation, National Grid plans to help develop more than 1,200 electric vehicle charging ports at 140 sites over a three-year period. The proposal, which currently is pending approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), comes on the heels of a new law signed by Governor Charlie Baker in January.
National Grid’s proposal includes working with local businesses to install charging stations at workplaces, apartment buildings and other destinations drivers frequent. It also includes an educational plan intended to increase customer awareness of the benefits of driving electric vehicles. The company believes the dual effort of raising customer awareness and increasing the number of charging stations will lead to a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on our roads.
The Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar REV Demonstration Project is a solar energy initiative that will deliver two main types of benefits: energy bill savings for an underserved community in Buffalo and grid efficiency benefits to the local distribution system. By physically concentrating approximately 100 rooftop solar photovoltaic systems within one neighborhood, the Demonstration Project provides the technical conditions necessary to explore grid efficiency as well as the opportunity to engage the entire residential community.
This Demonstration Project aims to remove participation barriers by having National Grid purchasing, installing and maintaining the solar PV systems for the community. In addition, customers can also enroll in an energy-efficiency services program to further reduce their electric bills.
The Rhode Island Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) demonstration project uses algorithms and specialized equipment to optimize voltage performance on the system. An extensive pilot study was performed, tracking performance on seven distribution feeders supplied from Putnam Pike and Tower Hill Road substations in Rhode Island, where they were shown to reduce the overall demand by roughly 3.4 percent.
National Grid will be expanding the footprint of VVO in the Rhode Island by deploying the technology on forty additional feeders over the next five years. The company worked with various partners and teams to develop the scope, schedule and investment of this deployment, starting with three substations in FY18.
As New England and New York continue down the complex project routes preparing the infrastructure of the future, New Energy Solutions will continue to work toward positioning National Grid as an industry leader in driving change and building the “Utility of the Future”.