In October 2022, NYSERDA announced it had selected E Source to lead development of an Integrated Energy Data Resource (IEDR) platform for New York State, a first-of-its-kind effort to house energy-related data from an array of public and private sources, including utilities, Distributed Energy Resource (DER) providers, government agencies, and consumers, and make that data, and subsequent data sets, searchable and actionable.
Earlier this year, E Source, with the help of its development partners UtilityAPI, Flux Tailor, TRC Companies, and Human Logic, launched the first public version of the platform on behalf of New York State. Today, we are catching up with Adam Stotz, E Source Chief Technology Officer, for more on the platform, progress to date, and where this is all heading.
Q: Hi, Adam. Thank you for talking with us about this ambitious data project on behalf of NYSERDA and New York State. Can you remind us what the IEDR platform is, and why it is important?
Adam Stotz: The NYSERDA IEDR platform is a large-scale, first-of-its kind effort to bring together all types of energy- and energy-related data from numerous sources and make it queryable and useful to a variety of stakeholders. As you may know, New York has some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the U.S. The IEDR platform is being developed to streamline this energy transition, making it easier for Distributed Energy Resource (DER) providers and other energy-services firms to interact more meaningfully with customers and governing bodies to get more renewable resources on the grid faster and more renewable solutions in the hands of energy end-users more quickly.
At a high level, that’s what this project is all about, and we’re off to a great start. One reason NYSERDA entrusted E Source with such a seminal and strategic project is that we and our partners have a lot of experience integrating and organizing data at scale. NYSERDA needed us to hit the ground running, and we have.
Q: I understand the first public version of the platform went live in March. What has happened since?
Adam: As you mentioned, we were able to stand up a prototype of the platform in short order and get it into the hands of a first set of beta users who have been busy testing the platform and suggesting fixes, updates, and new functionality. E Source and its development partners are committed to an agile, collaborative process, and it’s helping improve the platform in real time and gain buy in and credibility among users.
One of the first major use cases requested by our user community for this year is DER Siting, and our development team has been hard at work on it. This is a use case that requires a large amount of integrated data to achieve, and we have made great progress over the last several months adding layers of this required data to the platform.
As a result, it is now possible for DER project developers to use the platform to query available plots across numerous parameters, such as lot size, whether or not they are in development-restricted zones, environmental characteristics, and distance to distribution circuits which have the hosting capacity to support the project (simplifying the interconnect process).
This kind of functionality will save renewable project developers time, money, and hassle, making siting data available at a keystroke.
Q: What are the key use cases you and the State of New York are trying to develop and enable this year on the IEDR platform?
Adam: The Siting use case is one we knew could provide immediate value, and we jumped on it, developing it together with the help of the user community in a matter of months. By year’s end we are also building out the functionality to enable searching for electronically structured rate-plan data across New York from a single dashboard.
This capability will help eliminate the current practice of having to search through hundreds of pages of tariff book PDF documents to find rate characteristics. While this rate-plan feature is a major part of the new release, there are dozens of additional features in our roadmap that should lead to a great Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for New York in December.
Since launching back in March, we’ve gotten into a great rhythm, tapping into the Agile process as we go, so that each month we are making incremental gains across each of our MVP use cases. The feedback so far has been excellent. The prospect of having a fully functioning integrated data resource like this is becoming a reality.
Q :Who do you see benefitting most from this platform?
Adam: There are many different types of stakeholders who will play a role in bringing New York’s clean energy vision to fruition. While DER developers have been a focus of the MVP phase, that focus doesn’t exclude important capabilities we’ve put in place for state and local governments, energy consultants, community organizations, academia, and even utilities themselves.
We decided to focus first on developers, because that’s where the scale is, and there is a wealth of disjointed data sets to benefit them that we were able to pull together quickly. This is important, because New York has committed to 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, with some seriously aggressive milestones to hit well before that. That means the old scenario of having a two or three year backlog on renewable projects just isn’t going to work. The IEDR platform is one way to alleviate that congestion and fast track projects by making the information needed to site and launch them available in minutes not months.
But that’s not to say consumers and other energy users won’t benefit directly. They will. The IEDR platform will soon be equipped with Green Button Connect functionality that enables individual consumers to “raise their hands” and share their energy usage data with DER and other developers to spur energy-saving and renewable energy offers. Commercial, industrial, and institutional customers benefit in a similar way – by opting in, i.e., sharing their energy data, they spur competition among providers to offer them rate-saving and sustainability solutions.
Q: This all sounds great, and I’m glad the pieces are coming together. Before we go, can you situate the IEDR platform in the greater context of the national and global effort to reduce carbon emissions, make energy affordable and equitable, and increase energy safety, reliability, and resilience?
Adam: NYSERDA’s IEDR platform is at its heart a tool for the common good. New York’s rapid transition to renewables hinges on deploying renewable resources at a massive scale, optimizing investments into the grid, and offering customers programs that make energy more affordable and equitable. Data is going to be a lubricant to make this happen.
The IEDR platform is ultimately going to be a shared resource that facilitates bringing all of this together, while offering its users an easier way to engage with a broad set of clean energy stakeholders to maximize their participation in a greener grid and help New York meet its clean energy goals.