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New Con Edison program paying back co-generation owners for unused power

By Marc Graziano, Business Development Analyst, utiliVisor and Pete Falcier, VP of Development and Analytics, GI Energy

A significant component of utility bills for building owners that produce their own power is the Contract Demand Delivery Charge, which covers the cost of standby power the utility must deliver in the event of an on-site generation outage during peak demand hours.

However, a new Contract Demand performance credit program introduced by Con Edison in May 2015 is changing the equation.

For example, the owner of the Gateway Building at 1 North Lexington Avenue in White Plains, N.Y., which hosts a two-megawatt rooftop cogeneration system developed and managed by GI Energy, will realize about $41,500 in performance credits on their electricity bills in 2016.

Con Edison and New York Power Authority (NYPA) customers that generate their own power and obtain standby utility power under 100 kilovolts are eligible for the new performance credit program.

The credit is designed to encourage maximum uptime for distributed generation assets throughout Con Edison service territory.

Con Edison defines good uptime as fewer than three outages for a total of five 24-hour periods during peak hours Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 15 through September 15.

An outage counts when on-site generation is down for two consecutive 15-minute intervals or more.

To receive the credit, customers must report generator kilowatt-hour data in 15-minute intervals to Con Edison from June 15 through September 15, with data delivered each year by October 1.

When Con Edison announced the performance credit program last spring, GI Energy engaged utiliVisor, a continuous energy monitoring and advisory firm and NY Public Service Commission (PSC)-approved Meter Data Service Provider (MDSP), to verify the generator meter and certify its data for the performance period.

It was determined that Gateway and GI Energy ran the plant with minimal downtime during the summer performance period.

Con Edison allowed customers to deliver 2015 compliance data in spreadsheet format from an existing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system or building management system (BMS) if the existing electric meter measuring generator output met the ANSI C12 standard and had been calibrated by the manufacturer. utiliVisor obtained the manufacturer’s calibration certificate for the generator output meter and verified the SCADA system collecting the data, working with GI Energy to analyze, confirm and properly format the data for submission to Con Edison.

Energy monitoring at the building confirmed that combined heat and power operations complied with Con Edison’s performance criteria and qualified Gateway’s account for the Contract Demand credit. utiliVisor put together the compliance package for Con Edison approval for a cost of just a fraction of the credit’s annual value.

Stricter compliance criteria for 2016 will require a direct connection to Con Edison’s central station through a NY PSC-compliant meter with a telephone line, RSX Communication or Ethernet IP connection.

In addition, data must be certified by a NY PSC-approved MDSP.

Of course, reliable service and continuous remote meter monitoring are the best ways to optimize not only this new performance credit but the overall value of any on-site energy system.

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