Con Edison Researcher from Levittown, NY Wins Award for Work on Solar Energy

A Levittown resident has won a prestigious energy industry award for building a model that predicts the number of customers who will install solar panels on their homes and businesses.

James Skillman, a customer project manager in Con Edison’s Distribution Planning department, was named a winner of the Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute.

Skillman helped develop a model that uses data such as energy prices, borrowing costs, the cost of solar panels and local income levels to predict the number of customers who will choose solar over a given period of time.

Energy companies like Con Edison can use the information to help plan how they deploy and manage solar energy on their electric-delivery systems in ways that keep service reliable for all customers.

Skillman, who has worked for Con Edison since 2006, was one of five researchers from the company who won a Technology Transfer award.

“Rapid advances in technology give us new ways to serve customers, but also challenge us to understand complex, new concepts,” said Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison. “The work our researchers have done with EPRI will help Con Edison and other energy companies keep their service safe and reliable as customer needs and technology continue to evolve.”

Andrew Reid, a senior planning analyst in Distributed Resource Integration, won for research into the planning, designing and operation of microgrids.

Microgrids are local energy networks that are able to separate from the larger electrical grid during extreme weather events or emergencies, providing power to individual customers and crucial public services such as hospitals, first responders, and water treatment facilities.

Three researchers developed a system to help energy companies evaluate the strength of their substation cyber security protections. The method can help energy companies plan the investments they need to make to protect their systems and customers.

Those winners were: Arman Shiplu, a section manager in Protective Systems Testing, William Vesely, a project specialist in Control Systems Engineering, and Selena Ley, a technical specialist in Corporate Security.