New York State
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Q&A: Centralizing and Integrating Data to Spur Sustainability in New York State

July 1, 2024
The IEDR is a centralized platform that provides access to useful energy data and information from New York’s electric, gas, and steam utilities and other sources for stakeholders throughout the state.

In late 2022, E Source, in collaboration with NYSERDA and development partners UtilityAPI, Flux Tailor, and TRC Companies, began to design and build the Integrated Energy Data Resource (IEDR) for New York State. The IEDR is a centralized platform that provides access to useful energy data and information from New York’s electric, gas, and steam utilities and other sources for stakeholders throughout the state. The goal of the IEDR is to support new and innovative clean energy business models that help New York energy customers, democratizing energy data for a cleaner, more affordable, and sustainable future.

 T&D World interviewed Adam Stotz, CTO of E Source, for an update on the IEDR platform’s progress.

Q: Refresh our memories on the IEDR: What is it, and why is it being built?

A: The IEDR was established from the New York State Public Service Commission’s 2021 order Implementing an Integrated Energy Data Resource to address the need for comprehensive and reliable energy-related data in the state of New York. The Order directed the development of the IEDR’s design and adopted the necessary frameworks for funding, program management, and governance. The Commission appointed NYSERDA as the Program Sponsor, responsible for defining, initiating, overseeing, and facilitating the IEDR Program on behalf of New York State. 

 We believe that the IEDR  is one of the country's most ambitious energy data projects. Its central aim is to democratize energy data for the state’s stakeholders — residential customers, businesses, communities (including historically disadvantaged communities), renewable energy project developers (distributed energy resource providers or DERs), state agencies, and energy utilities. The goal is to use centralized energy data to level the playing field for all participants in the clean energy economy, spur economic development and innovation, and streamline and accelerate the clean energy transition while also making it more affordable and equitable.

The IEDR is designed to empower all stakeholders with actionable information to help each party take part fully in the benefits of renewable energy and the clean energy transition.

Q: NYSERDA recently announced the IEDR reached an important milestone: completion of Phase 1 of the project. Can you talk about that?

 A: Yes, completing Phase 1 of the IEDR is significant for many reasons.

 To our knowledge, no one has ever centralized energy data at this scale and with this level of accessibility to so many different stakeholders. A significant achievement of Phase 1 is that we have successfully collected and normalized data from all eight investor-owned utilities (IOUs) running in the State. This data includes distribution utility circuits and hosting capacity, installed DER projects, and the status of applications and timeframes for planned DER projects. The platform also includes a rich array of utility rate-plan data as part of the IEDR Rate Plan Browser.

 And it doesn’t stop there. The IEDR is also loaded with rich, actionable data related to siting renewable projects (solar, storage, solar-plus storage, wind, fuel cells, and more), including available land parcels, size and topography of said parcels, environmental restrictions related to this land, and more. We are talking about every acre in every county across the entire state.

 So, why is all this data important? The answer to this question gets to the heart of the value proposition of the IEDR and how New York State is relying on information as a key enabler of its clean energy transition. All this data is now a) easily available for all stakeholders to find, reference, and use in one place and b) is presented in the same way (normalized) for a straightforward comparison.

It’s also free for users, which means small companies without big teams or deep pockets can access energy data just as easily as larger competitors, democratizing innovation.

Q: Can you give an example or two of how the IEDR is being used?

 A: When we spoke last, I outlined the siting use case, and now I’d love to offer more detail. The work on this feature is central to why IEDR users – and other interested parties – are getting so excited about the platform.

 Siting new renewable projects can be time-consuming and frustrating. A lot goes into siting: Where are there available plots of land to build a solar-plus-storage facility? How far is a given plot from an interconnection point on the grid? Could a distributed energy resource in that location be used to serve a disadvantaged community? Which utility serves that specific plot? What are that utility’s rates in that service territory, including time of use? Is the property in question brownfield or greenfield, and are there any other environmental restrictions that go with it? Are there any other DER projects already in that area, or planned? And the list goes on.

 Consider the complexity of doing this for three different available plots of land, in different geographies or service territories, for the purposes of a side-by-side comparison.

 Not having easy access to this information has proven costly. How many renewable project developers have found either a great prospective customer or site to deploy distributed energy resources only to find out weeks or months into their work that there won’t be any available grid capacity there for the next several years?

 These false starts are now in the past.

 With the IEDR, a project developer can get the information they need upfront in just minutes by applying different filters (available as simple dropdowns) to the data in the Electric Infrastructure Assessment Tool (EIAT) and the Rate Plan Browser and seeing the results on an interactive map of New York. The data in the IEDR becomes an essential part of the developer's planning calculus: data will help new projects get planned with less risk and come online faster while also helping to spur new ideas and approaches.

Q: How did you decide which data and tools to include in the IEDR?

A: You’ve hit on something really special about the IEDR. Not only is the platform's goal to democratize data, but the process of prioritizing which data to include and which features and functions to develop is also democratic, one driven in part by the stakeholders themselves. The IEDR isn’t being developed top-down in a prescriptive fashion. The functionality and use cases it is enabling are based on stakeholder feedback. This is a project of and for the people. Stakeholder input has shaped and continues to inform what the IEDR can and will do.

Q: What’s coming up in Phase 2?

A: I’m happy to say Phase 2 is actively under development now and includes plans for more than 40 new use cases. One such use case is Green Button Connect, which we laid the groundwork for in Phase 1. This will enable residential customers throughout New York to “opt in” to share their energy data with approved third-party providers in an easy but secure way. This will make it much easier for consumers to share their utility data with prospective energy efficiency and distributed energy partners. It will also be easier and faster for those providers to craft custom offers for consumers across energy efficiency, demand response, rooftop solar or other clean energy or energy-reducing solutions.

This is just one of several powerful upcoming use cases. Others include:

  • EV Charger Siting and Load Growth Planning
  • Disadvantaged Communities – Utility Program Prioritization
  • Demand-side Management Program Growth, including Demand Response
  • Building Benchmarking and Electrification
  • System Reliability Benchmarking

Q: And when is Phase 2 expected to be completed?

 A: We expect full Green Button Connect functionality later this year and to steadily launch new use cases over 2024, 2025, and 2026, taking in user feedback throughout the process and adapting the platform accordingly. The IEDR platform is getting better every day, building on an already solid foundation.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: New York is doing something special here. It sees the potential for data – centrally available, accessible to all stakeholders – to be just as important to reaching clean energy goals as the next innovation in batteries or solar panels. We’re happy to work with NYSERDA and our development partners on this important chapter in the clean energy transition.


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