Two-day conference engages over 350 event participants and over 1,700 viewers via livestream to spark new ideas and advance REV’s goals and initiatives
NEW YORK, NY – With all eyes on New York with the arrival of Pope Francis, the UN General Assembly, and Climate Week, REV4NY Exchange today concluded with a series of interactive, breakout brainstorming sessions. The REV4NY Exchange, which had 350 attendees and over 1,700 unique viewers via livestream from across the country and State, provided an opportunity for participants to share ideas and co-create new energy solutions taking advantage of the ecosystem for innovation created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’sReforming the Energy Vision strategy. It sent a clear message that New York State is “open for business” with different elements of REV creating unprecedented opportunities for innovative approaches to advance clean energy and promote economic development.
The REV4NY Exchange was a featured event of Climate Week, proclaimed by Governor Cuomo from to raise awareness about the challenges faced from a changing climate and to highlight the steps New York is taking to increase resiliency and curb emissions.
As part of the conference, high ranking officials from New York utilities, a cross-section of business, technology and innovation sectors and the State were challenged to think “outside of the box” and beyond traditional notions of the utility and the electric grid. Participants were asked to explore how new business models made possible by REV can create new revenue opportunities for their organizations while building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. In addition, the conference served as a launch pad for REV Connect, which will serve as a vehicle to match these smart ideas and project concepts from third parties with the needs of communities and utilities.
During his opening keynote, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for the State of New York said: “As world leaders gather in New York to discuss critical topics including climate change, 350 people chose to attend this conference with over 1,700 individuals watching the live stream because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They’re here to help bring about a cleaner, better energy system for New York, deploying first of their kind solutions here that can then be scaled around the country and around the world Because unlike in Vegas, what happens in New York does not stay in New York -- if they can make it here, they can make it anywhere.”
The first day of the conference started with a call to action by Kauffman, stating “we cannot complete our mission without creating a culture of innovation.” REV Connect will offer expert guidance, feedback and facilitation to ensure a robust pipeline of future REV demonstrations, non-wire alternatives and other innovative projects. The unique event format then allowed the New York State energy leadership team to directly engage panelists and participants about key industry topics including community energy solutions, bolstering resiliency, building efficiency, platforms for distributed energy resources (DER) coordination, energy marketplace program development, and analytics for a transactive grid.
In a closing fireside chat, Audrey Zibelman, Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission, echoed the unique opportunities REV presents as part of the major regulatory reform associated with it: “We’re moving into an extraordinarily collaborative effort to reinvent our energy system and give consumers new options for cleaner, more affordable power. That requires utilities, third-parties, and regulators to put their heads together and think in new ways, which is why we’re excited to have each of these actors represented here and doing just that today. ”
The panel session format offered a variety of perspectives on new ways to grow clean energy markets. Some of the major themes covered in the various panels included: putting individual customers at the center and working backwards from their diverse needs, desires, and interests; partnering in new ways and with new kinds of actors to accelerate clean energy markets; engaging and serving low-to-moderate income New Yorkers with clean energy solutions; and open-sourcing our challenges to foster innovative and disruptive solutions from conventional and non-conventional sources alike.
Companies participating on the panels, breakout sessions and as exhibitors included: Johnson Controls, Nexant, Smarter Grid Solutions, OPower, Clean Energy Collective, BlocPower and Siemens among many other established nationally-known brand named companies and growth companies already benefiting from the emergent clean energy economy.
Some highlights of remarks from panelists and participants during the first day included:
“The purpose of REV is to reduce energy costs and improve resiliency while making the system cleaner.” – John Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
“REV is about placing the customers in the middle of the innovation.” – Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO, New York Power Authority (NYPA)
"REV has validated our decision to select New York as our U.S. headquarters, and we have seen dramatic growth as a result.” – Bob Currie, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Smarter Grid Solutions
“It's an exciting time to be working in the State of New York on energy projects.” – Kate Fish, Executive Director, Adirondack North Country Association
“There’s an opportunity to make it so simple for people to take action.” – Riggs Kubiak, Founder & CEO, Honest Buildings
“New York is taking a lead under REV showing the world exactly how working to protect the environment is proving to be good for clean energy businesses and New Yorkers” -
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York's
During the second day, participants broke out into four different groups for in-depth three-hour sessions to share experiences and perspectives, discuss the root causes behind today’s barriers, and develop ideas on how new business models can meaningfully move REV forward. The sessions covered the four key areas that will impact the future of REV:
· New Models for Reducing Peak Load and Advancing Energy Efficiency
· REV-Enabled Solutions for Low-and-Moderate Income Customers
· Enabling The Active Customer
· Reaching and Serving the Passive Customer
The REV4NY Exchange also saw the premiere of a new video highlighting the story of Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is a community with significant numbers of low- to moderate-income residents who are often more vulnerable to extreme weather events. The community was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and is now planning for a more resilient future with the help of the NY Prize community microgrid competition under REV. View it at bit.ly/1OweSkD.
The REV4NY Exchange is just one of many opportunities through which the state is soliciting feedback and participation from clean energy markets and customers on a variety of REV issues. For instance, public statement hearings and information sessions have been scheduled throughout September and October on the PSC’s Low-Income energy affordability proceeding. Future events and community meetings are also being planned to directly engage a number of diverse constituencies, communities and consumers on the REV issues they care about most.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy policy under new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms to grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system which protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a includes a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities.