New York Readies for Next Step to Decentralize the Electricity Market

Oct. 1, 2015
New York plans to roll out REV Connect in the coming weeks, a next step in its move to radically overhaul and decentralize the electricity market.

Red Hook is a NY community planning a microgrid as part of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV).

New York plans to roll out REV Connect in the coming weeks, a next step in its move to dramatically overhaul and decentralize the electricity market.

Details are still forthcoming, but policymakers are describing REV Connect as a structure through which innovative energy technologies and business models can enter the New York market.

It is the latest move in New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision, a policy under development that puts the state at the forefront nationally in creating a distributed, microgrid-friendly grid.

REV Connect will offer expert guidance, feedback and facilitation to ensure a robust pipeline of energy innovations, according to a news release issued by the state.

Cheryl Martin, founder of Harwich Partners & former acting director of ARPA-E, offered a teaser about the new program in the opening session of a conference last week at the REV 4NY Exchange 2015. Martin said that REV Connect is a way to match good ideas and product concepts from third parties with the needs of the utilities and consumers.

What is a community microgrid? View the story of the Red Hook community microgrid on YouTube.

“We’ve listened to the market, including customers, utilities, and innovative companies, and as part of this dialogue, we’ve determined a need for a new initiative we’re calling REV Connect,” said Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for the State of New York, delivering the conference keynote address.

The program fits with the step-by-step approach the state has been taking to decentralize the electricity market. State regulators and policymakers have been testing the waters through utility demonstration projects and distributed energy programs. For microgrids, the most pertinent is the NY Prize, a $40 million competition to encourage development of community microgrids.

“You have the chance to shape the future. It isn’t often that government opens the door for innovation at a time when markets are developing and technology is rapidly changing,” Kauffman said at the New York City gathering which drew about 350 energy stakeholders.

He added that the “eyes of other states — even other countries — are on us.”

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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