The National Grid System Reliability Procurement Pilot

Rhode Island’s ongoing system reliability pilot in the Towns of Tiverton and Little Compton is evaluating how energy efficiency and demand response could potentially defer (or possibly eliminate) the need for costly investments in utility infrastructure to meet growing energy demand.

For more information on the National Grid System Reliability Procurement Pilot, please contact Danny Musher at danny.musher@energy.ri.gov.

Background

Rhode Island’s 2006 Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency, and Affordability Act established the state’s landmark “Least-Cost Procurement” policy, which requires electric and natural gas distribution companies to invest in “all cost-effective” energy efficiency before the acquisition of additional supply. The law contains an important and innovative provision requiring electric distribution companies (National Grid) to develop an annual “System Reliability Procurement” (SRP) Plan, which must strategically consider an array of customer and utility-sited energy resources to maximize their benefit to Rhode Island’s energy system. These “non-wires alternatives” (NWAs) include but are not limited to cost-effective energy efficiency measures, distributed generation and demand response measures that are targeted toward reducing the peak loads on the electricity grid. National Grid is asked to assess whether an array of such resources could be deployed to avoid dirtier “peaking” generators and defer distribution (and potentially transmission) system investments. Deferring distribution system investments could provide savings over time for customers and could lower the volatility and cost uncertainty of the larger energy and capacity markets in New England by securing sources of energy supply and capacity from in-state resources.

DemandLink

Since 2012, National Grid has been conducting an SRP pilot called “DemandLink” in the towns of Tiverton and Little Compton. This pilot is designed to defer the need for a new substation feeder in the Tiverton/Little Compton region through at least 2017 by targeting energy efficiency measures and conducting a demand response program in the area that will reduce the load on specific feeders attributable to customer air conditioning, lighting, and other summer-peaking loads. If the pilot is successful in enrolling and providing 1 megawatt (MW) of sustained load relief over its planned lifecycle, it will result in deferred construction of a new substation feeder estimated to cost $2.9 million for four years.


For those that live in Tiverton or Little Compton, please click here for more information about the SRP: https://www.myngrid.com/demandlink.