There are 9,200 central station electric generating plants with more than 1 million MW of capacity connected to a nationwide web of 30,000 miles of mostly antiquated transmission lines. For years, the benefits of distributed generation as a substitute to central station facilities and transmission line replacement has been recognized and discussed. New York is now going to do something about it.
Distributed generation systems consist of generating electricity at local sources to serve the needs of the local community. These systems will supplement and eventually replace central station power plants and antiquated transmission lines, while lowering the cost of electricity.
Locally-sited combined heat and power units (CHP) can lower the cost of electricity generated by co-producing usable heat in the form of hot water which results in efficiencies of 80% to 90%.
Other technologies needed to attain sustainability, such as natural gas driven chillers, solar systems, stationary batteries, and battery electric vehicles, can be integrated with a distributed generation system.
The New York Public Service Commission has ordered ConEd to establish a distributed generation system in the Brownsville feeder system area as a prototype of what future systems will be.
On April 24, 2014, Governor Cuomo announced the policy of “Reforming the Energy Vision” for the State adopting the distributed generation concept for the entire State.