Distributed Energy Resources & Renewables

Solar Collector

Distributed energy resources (DER), or distributed generation (DG), refers to small-scale, on-site power generation. DER systems frequently use renewable energy sources, including biomass, biogas, solar power, wind power and geothermal power.

CDH Energy monitors and evaluates the performance of several DER technologies:

  • Anaerobic Digester Gas (ADG) systems on farms and in industrial facilities
  • Commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • Fuel cell systems
  • Natural gas-fired co-generation (CHP) systems: microturbines, reciprocating engines, and gas turbines in multifamily residential, commercial and industrial buildings
  • Battery storage systems
  • Microgrids

We collect and display data from hundreds of sites across New York daily for NYSERDA’s performance-based distributed generation incentive programs such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard. These are displayed on the NYSERDA web-based "DG Integrated Data System"

The projects we monitor use our data, analyses, and web services to participate in many other programs, including:

  • California Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)
  • Massachusetts Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) energy credits
  • ISO-New England Forward Capacity Market (FCM) reporting
  • Connecticut Green Bank (formerly CEFIA) Connecticut Microgrid Program

CDH also evaluated the technical, process, and regulatory details of DER. We understand and document the types of issues that arise during the process of installing on-site power generation that operates in parallel with the electric utility grid, such as local regulation and electrical interconnection.  We also understand where and how backup power systems can, and should, be installed.

Example Projects

DG Integrated Data System

The NYSERDA web-based DG Integrated Data System includes monitored performance data for NYSERDA's portfolio of DG projects. This website provides access to historic databases that includes hourly readings for each system. The databases are updated each night to include the newest data for the previous day. The web interface allows users to view, plot, analyze, and download performance data from one or several different DG sites. The database is intended to provide detailed, accurate performance data that can be used by potential users, developers, and other stakeholders to understand the real world performance of these technologies. For NYSERDA's performance-based programs, these data provide the basis for incentive payments to these sites.

College Photovoltaic Solar Power – Ashland, WI

Wind Turbines:  The 20 kW wind turbine at the college supplies power directly to the residence hall or to the utility. We monitored the energy output and operating characteristics. An ideal wind turbine can capture 59% of the wind energy. At Northland the wind turbine has provided as much as 50% of the electricity in an hour.

Photovoltaic Solar Power:  Three PV panels at the college augment the power supplied to the residence hall. These panels have three different tracking systems: the first panel tracks the sun across the sky each day, the second panel adjusts its slope throughout the year, and the third panel has a fixed direction and angle. CDH collected data on the power generated by each panel. Single axis and dual axis tracking units capture more energy than a fixed panel.

Solar Profile       Three Solar Panels

Thermal Solar Water Heating:  Solar collectors preheat water for the hot water needs of three apartments at the residence hall. The graphs below show apartments with and without solar preheat.

Solarwh Impact