IES Cycle 1 Priority Theme: Demand-side Flexibility
Innovative Cycle 1 projects should ideally fit within the priority theme of Demand-side Flexibility. Demand-side Flexibility can be defined as the ability to shift or reduce electricity demand or consumption from a device’s normal electricity profile. This includes solutions that will help maximize the grid and end use flexibility (i.e. load control and optimization) to balance the electric system. Projects that fit within this theme will be given the most consideration.
The priority theme for Cycle 1 of the IES Program is Demand-side Flexibility, which may include:
This may include solutions related to advanced forecasting of energy flows and grid constraints.
This may include solutions related to the automated control of behind-the-meter resources.
Flexible Winter Peak:
This may include solutions related to the fast ramp up and down of resources to enable a flexible winter peak.
This may include solutions such as heat pumps that enable the decoupling of heating and cooling demand from immediate power generation and supply availability.
Other innovation opportunities for Cycle 1 of the IES Program include the priorities identified in Connecticut’s Equitable Modern Grid Framework:
- Energy Affordability
- Advance metering infrastructure
- Electric Storage
- Zero Emission Vehicles
- Interconnection Standards and Practices
- Non-wire alternatives
- Resiliency and Reliability Standards and Programs
- Distributed Energy Resources Analysis and Program Reviews
- Building Blocks of Resource Adequacy and Clean Electric Supply
- New rate designs
We are in Cycle 1 in 2023. A new cycle is launched each year.
Ideation & Screening
Interested participants submit Phase 1 applications describing their innovative product or service, for consideration by the IES Program Administrator and Innovation Advisory Council.
Prioritization & Selection
A subset of applicants will be invited to submit more comprehensive and detailed project proposals for consideration. Phase 2 Applications will include details on project costs and benefits, a plan for project deployment, and metrics and targets for evaluating the project’s success.
Innovators who pass Phase 2 and sign the Standard Form Agreement will deploy their proposed projects according to an agreed-upon scope and scale. Upon final project selection, innovators will be provided with approximately 12 to 18 months to launch projects and collect data on project performance.
Assessment & Scale
Innovators will be required to develop and submit a final report discussing costs and benefits, project performance, and lessons learned. Successful projects that are ready to scale will be invited to submit the appropriate regulatory application to do so.
Phase 1: In order to move on to Phase 2 of the IES Program, projects will need to pass the below criteria. In case of an unexpectedly large volume of applications, IES Program evaluators will prioritize projects based on (1) description completeness, (2) impacts to underserved communities, and (3) innovation potential. Projects in underrepresented topic areas may be favored to offer a variety of innovative energy solutions under the IES Program. Ideally, each cycle will include projects under all participation pathways:
- Avoids potential EDC competitive advantage
- Avoids potential unreasonable ratepayer impact
- Advances decarbonization goals
- Approved (or will be approved within 30 days of selection) for Connecticut business practice
- Is innovative and/or addresses gaps in current Connecticut EDC offerings
- Addresses underserved communities (See Environmental Justice Communities Map and Distressed Municipalities List for reference)
Phase 2: Projects will be scored according to the following criteria and ranked by category and/or pathway, and voted upon to determine which projects are recommended to PURA to move forward into Phase 3 deployment:
- Innovation potential
- Advances decarbonization
- Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
- Project benefits
- Project costs
- Project Implementation Tracking Plan
- Woman- or minority-owned business
Phase 3: Deployment and data collection/reporting according to agreed-upon Project Implementation Tracking Plan
Phase 4: To inform PURA’s scaling recommendation, ex post assessment of project process and impacts, including quantification of energy and environmental impacts, cost-effectiveness assessment, details around customer experience (if applicable), and other quantitative/qualitative outcomes as deemed appropriate jointly be the project owner and Program Administrator. In addition to the criteria outlined below, there may be additional project-specific criteria, as identified in the Project Implementation Tracking Plan performance metrics:
- Project performance:
- Cost effectiveness test
- Cost containment (i.e., under cap in total, under cap at each stage)
- Achievement of quantitative KPIs
- Achievement of project goals
- Customer experience (which could include customers, but also vendors, contractors, and stakeholders, if applicable)
- Project execution
- Economic Development/Job creation:
- New jobs created
- New areas of work created
- DEI Metrics:
- Underserved communities targeted
- Provides non-energy benefits to underserved communities
- Overall project scalability potential
- Impact on DEI communities if scaled
- Impact on jobs if scaled
- Impact on GHG emissions reductions if scaled