On October 15, 2015, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff issued proposed guidance to the New York utilities for the structure and content of their Distributed System Implementation Plans (DSIPs). The DSIPs are the plans through which each utility will establish a Distributed System Platform (DSP), a foundational element of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding (14-M-0101). Per the Track 1 Order, the DSP is envisioned as “an intelligent network platform that will provide safe, reliable, and efficient electric services by integrating diverse resources to meet customers’ and society’s evolving needs. The DSP fosters broad market activity that monetizes system and social values, by enabling active customer and third-party engagement that is aligned with the wholesale market and bulk power system.”1 A two-phase approach is outlined in the guidance, with an initial DSIP to be filed by each utility individually on June 30, 2016 and a supplemental DSIP to be developed jointly by the utilities and filed on September 1, 2016.
With the PSC Staff proposing a two-phase approach for DSIP development, they are, to some extent, separating the near-term REV activities that each utility will undertake from the long-term changes to be adopted by the state as a whole in order to eventually accommodate significant DER penetration and new utility business models. Within the initial DSIP, the focus is intended to be on the current state capabilities of each utility to plan and forecast for DER, operate the grid in a safe, reliable, and effective manner as DER penetration increases, and collect and share system and customer data. Additionally, the initial DSIP will begin to address the changes necessary to enhance all of those capabilities in accordance with REV objectives. The supplemental DSIP then aims to provide additional information necessary for common approaches to long-term planning and coordination in order to further develop the concepts presented in the initial DSIP filing. The supplemental DSIP is also intended to identify the initial foundational approaches necessary for grid operations to evolve as DER penetration increases and a nascent energy market develops. This initially may include increased granularity of pricing, access to system and customer data, participant rules developed out of ongoing cases, and various approaches for procuring DER.4
Along with various other stakeholders, the Joint Utilities (the seven NY investor-owned utilities collectively) filed their comments to the proposed DSIP Guidance on December 7. All aspects of the DSIP Guidance were addressed with a focus on providing recommendations on which topics or requirements should be included in the initial DSIP and which should be addressed collectively in the supplemental DSIP, along with the prioritization of those topics. Additionally, the Joint Utilities addressed the specific questions in the proposed DSIP Guidance surrounding AMI, stating that the capabilities provided by AMI are foundational to achieving many of the goals identified throughout the REV proceedings.
Following reply comments in January by the Joint Utilities and stakeholders, a DSIP Guidance order from the PSC is expected in early 2016. The focused self-assessments and coordinated approach across utilities in these initial DSIP filings represent the first steps toward a more efficient and dynamic distribution system platform. DSIPs are to be filed biennially, and the concepts therein will be advanced based on the output of demonstration projects and other evolutions of technology and methodologies.
3 Ibid, pp. 4-5.
4 Ibid, pp. 28-29
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Contributing Authors: Josh Kmiec, Chris Sturgill
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