New York, NY, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 6, 2009 - Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. has announced the launch of a $6 million smart grid pilot program in northwest Queens that will test how various technologies support efforts to modernize the electric grid and help customers use energy more efficiently and save on their electricity bills.

“New York City will be a model showing how smart grid technologies can work together in dense urban areas,” said Kevin Burke, chairman and CEO of Con Edison. “Our vision is to identify grid innovations that can be reliable and cost effective, and provide increased flexibility for customers in the ways they make energy choices.”

Con Edison’s 18-month demonstration project combines cutting edge technology with existing innovations that allow, for example, the utility to test and evaluate the company’s response to customer use and power interruptions.

One of the innovations involves a distributed generation project with the City University of New York to study how solar energy can be integrated into the New York City electric grid. The solar energy will be obtained from a 100 kW photovoltaic system on the roof of LaGuardia Community College.  

The comprehensive, urban city smart grid pilot will take place within the company’s Long Island City network, an 8.3 square-mile-area, which has a customer density mixture representative of other areas in the company’s system. The network entirely or partly includes the neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside. The location of the smart grid pilot also gives Con Edison greater flexibility by housing necessary equipment on its own property.  

Approximately 1,500 customers will receive smart meters. Other AMI features include automatic outage notification, remote meter reading, remote reconnection and the ability to communicate energy usage information via other smart building technology to web portals or in-home displays. The web portals and in-home displays can show energy usage by appliance and nearly 300 eligible customers will test this technology.  

The demonstration program also tests the integration of intelligent underground systems that can monitor, isolate and correct distribution problems to improve reliability; a commercial customer’s energy generator and renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, into the grid; and plug-in electric vehicles and their charging stations.

The project is the company’s first step in an effort to expand smart grid technology throughout New York City and Westchester County. Con Edison will continue working with the state Public Service Commission, other stakeholders, and industry groups to grow and expand smart grid technology across the system.     

By the end of this month, Con Edison will file proposals with the U.S. Department of Energy for stimulus funds to help finance approximately $375 million in smart grid projects. Stimulus grants, if secured, will broaden the scope of the company’s smart grid efforts. Some of these projects include the addition of more than 40,000 smart meters, more intelligent underground and overhead systems, and a sophisticated command and control network that will serve as the “brain” of an enhanced Con Edison smart grid.       

Also, the utility is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate the concept of interoperability that will be critical for widespread deployment of smart grid.

Con Edison’s smart grid pilot project was developed after five years of research and development. Smart grid technology is part of the company’s EnergyNY plan, a blueprint that balances energy efficiency initiatives with infrastructure investments to meet the region’s increasing need for energy.  

Con Edison, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.