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Synapse in the News: Valuing Distributed Energy Resources

In its Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding, the New York Public Service Commission has undertaken an ambitious initiative to improve the New York electricity system through better incorporation of distributed energy resources (DERs): distributed generation, distributed storage, energy efficiency, and demand response. To support this initiative, Synapse developed a benefit-cost analysis framework that will provide the Commission and other stakeholders with the information necessary to determine which resources will be in the public interest and will meet the Commission’s energy policy goals. The proceeding—with a focus on Synapse’s benefit-cost analysis report—was a top story in Fierce Energy’s daily roundup of news on September 24.

Barbara Vergetis Lundin writes:

The industry has long been wrestling with how to fully assess the value of distributed energy resources (DER). Utility regulators need a new framework for benefit-cost analysis to accurately assess the value of distributed energy resources such as energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation like rooftop solar, and energy storage, according to a report by Synapse Energy Economics, submitted to New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of its "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) regulatory proceeding….The benefit-cost analysis techniques traditionally used to evaluate energy-efficiency resources in New York State and many other states around the country are increasingly seen by the PSC and other utility regulators around the country as too narrow, overlooking benefits important for meeting state energy goals, according to the report, which proposes innovative screening mechanisms to determine whether various distributed energy resources deserve ratepayer-funded support to meet electric power system, economic, and societal objectives.

Read the full article, “NY re-examines how to assess the value of distributed energy resources,” here.