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New York City is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Cities program, a national partnership to accelerate the adoption of solar energy technologies in 25 major U.S. cities. This study examines the challenges and opportunities of interconnecting solar PV in New York City.
NYCEDC, the City University of New York, and the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS) have joined together to form the New York City Solar America City team. These organizations, in cooperation with Con Edison and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), have begun to develop a plan to increase New York City’s solar photovoltaic energy capacity.
Although New York has a highly reliable electric grid, the system was designed for unidirectional electricity flow from utility substations to individual customers. An excess of power from customer-sited installations toward the grid has the potential to cause reverse power flow from customers to substations, which could disrupt the grid’s protective mechanisms.
This NREL study assesses the potential for such reverse power flow, specifically from distributed photovoltaic power generation, and provides solutions that may help Con Edison determine appropriate system upgrades. The study also outlines a streamlined application process for photovoltaic installations by examining best practices among six utilities in the United States.
For more information on New York’s Solar America Cities projects, visit http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/sustainability/solar-america.html.
The full solar photovoltaic grid interconnection study is available for download: