Con Edison launches smart grid pilot program in Queens

New York City, August 5, 2009 — Consolidated Edison Co. of New York is launching a $6 million smart grid pilot program in northwest Queens that will test how various technologies support efforts to modernize the electric grid. It will provide customers with more information about their energy usage, and help customers use energy more efficiently and save on their electricity bills.

Smart grids integrate information and communication technology into electricity generation, delivery, and consumption, making systems cleaner, safer, more reliable and efficient. 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 100kW photovoltaic system on the roof of LaGuardia Community College.

Con Edison’s, 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.

About 1,500 customers will receive smart meters, the main component of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). 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

  • plug-in electric vehicles and their charging stations

The research and development 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 has worked closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the non-profit organization that recently delivered a smart grid interoperability roadmap report to the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, which will oversee development and implementation of national advanced grid standards.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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