Con Edison has filed a proposal with the Public Service Commission (PSC) for an 18-month solar energy pilot programme encompassing homes, businesses, and the company’s own facilities, with the goal of generating 12 MW of solar electricity by 2011.
The pilot programme will study potential impact of solar installations on the electric grid’s most heavily-used sections, explore cost and available funding for solar generation, and help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumption of fossil fuels.
Con Edison also says it expects the programme to yield important insights about customer interest in solar, its potential impact on system operations, and to spur more expansive projects after results are evaluated.
If approved, Con Edison’s initial US$20-25 million solar proposal will generate up to:
- 5 MW from larges installations (≥200kW);
- 5 MW from smaller installations, primarily for residential or small to medium commercial customers; and
- 2 MW on Con Edison facilities in daytime peak-electric use neighbourhoods.
The company views the proposed programme as a first step in promoting a “vibrant solar industry in New York,” highlighting the number of underused and easily accessible flat roofs across the service area on commercial and residential buildings in New York.
Con Edison’s filing notes that the pilot is intended to provide a "jumpstart" for solar installations.