Capturing Distributed Benefits
Factoring customer-owned generation into forecasting, planning, and operations.
As with most utilities, Con Edison has long planned its distribution system based on a unidirectional flow of electricity to customers. This design assumption has shaped system controls and analyses, energy markets, and operator training, along with many other aspects of equipment and operations, as well as critical business decisions like rate design and tariff rules. Historically, when customers provided for their own electric energy needs it was either for emergency back-up—for hospitals, water treatment plants, etc.—or for heavy-industry users that already had sophisticated technical operations and on-site expertise. In recent years a growing number of customers are installing, owning, and operating small to medium-sized electric generating systems, generally up to 20 MW in capacity, behind the meter.