On March 9, 2017, in the final open session with chair Audrey Zibelman at the helm, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an Order regarding the utilities’ Distribution System Implementation Plans (DSIP). The DSIPs are the plans through which each utility will establish a Distributed System Platform (DSP) to more effectively integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER), a foundational element of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Each utility filed their initial DSIPs on June 30, 2016, and the New York utilities jointly filed a supplemental DSIP on November 1, 2016. Stakeholder comments and reply comments were also solicited following each filing. In evaluating the plans, the PSC used stakeholder comments to gauge the level of progress utilities had made in fulfilling their roles as the DSP. Though the tone of the Order was generally positive, “the Commission has identified a need for increased focus and tangible results to enable development of DSPs that facilitate use of DERs” in several areas.
The requirements in the DSIP Order do not represent a fundamental shift in direction for the New York utilities; rather, they provide interim targets for utilities to continue advancing their DSP capabilities prior to the next formal DSIP filings in June 2018. However, it is worth noting that the targets for some capabilities established in the Order are accelerated relative to timelines outlined in the Supplemental DSIP. Additionally, the Order provides a glimpse into the Commission’s priorities for near-term development and highlights the influence of stakeholder comments. Utilities in other grid modernization proceedings may want to note the extent that stakeholder feedback continues to be an important element in policy development.
Additional Contributing Authors: Josh Kmiec, Chris Sturgill
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