Data Acquisition Systems

Monitoring the amount of solar energy that an installation captures on any given day through data acquisition systems (DAS) is a way to keep track of a solar energy system's output.  Solar installations with DAS give system owners and operators real time statistics on a system's performance. See Why We Need to Know

Currently there are over  900 solar systems installed in New York City.  As part of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded project through the Department of Energy, the NYC Solar America City Partnership has distributed complimentary data acquisition systems to 25 recently deployed systems in the Solar Empowerment Zones.

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A limited number of free data acquisition systems are still available for NYC buildings throughout the five boroughs. Installations with existing data monitoring or data acquisition systems also have the opportunity to have their data integrated into the NYC Solar Map. Please register your system on the NYC Solar Map and contact us at for more information.

Incorporating DAS into all installed solar systems will enable Con Edison to monitor the impact of solar on the grid and can serve as a crucial component of the smart grid in New York City. The smart grid will include a variety of technologies that will allow for a two-way flow of energy and information between customers and utilities. In addition, collected and reported (or aggregated) solar PV production throughout New York City will also be used to inform solar policy, and to encourage solar developers to invest and commit to expanding solar PV in NYC.



Solar Installation

Energy Performance monitoring resources

NYC Solar America City Partnership
A key report from the National Renewable Energy Lab on PV and its interactions with our local grid: Interconnecting PV on New York City's Secondary Distribution Network <pdf>

Con Edison's Smart Grid Initiative
Con Edison Smart Grid Initiative page outlines the utility's efforts to test and deploy the latest 'smart grid' technologies.

US Department of Energy
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Smart Grid web page

Solar America Board for Codes and Standards
Potential Impacts of Advanced Metering Infrastructure on Renewable Energy Policy <pdf>

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL's Renewable Energy Data Center



Since being selected as a Solar America City in 2007, the New York City Solar America City Partnership has made significant progress in understanding the technical barriers to interconnecting distributed PV with Con Edison's network grid system. The Smart Solar City Project will build on this knowledge by monitoring real-time PV production information on select Con Edison networks located within the Solar Empowerment Zones.

Project Partners

  • City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Consolidated Edison of New York
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC)
  • New York City Mayor’s Office
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Project Objectives

Until now, there has been no way to track the amount of PV generation in New York City. This knowledge can be useful on several fronts: utility planning, solar mapping, education, promotion of solar energy, and smart grid applications. The New York City Solar Data Acquisition System (DAS) will use data from existing and future PV installations in the New York City Solar Empowerment Zones in order to gain real-time information on local solar production. This information will be used in several ways, and additional applications will likely be developed in future.

The data will primarily be useful for Con Edison, the local distribution utility, as it will allow Con Edison to: 1) evaluate the impact of solar production on network reliability, 2) integrate solar into smart grid efforts, and 3) improve demand-side management applications. The measurement of solar as a real energy resource will also lay the groundwork for Con Edison to be able to reduce the use of peaking power plants during periods of peak demand that coincide with high PV production. This will reduce the use of fossil fuels, lower maintenance requirements, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

City and State energy policy stakeholders will also be able to use this data in order to analyze the actual value of PV generation to grid-constrained areas. New York City is required to generate 80% of its peak electrical load within city limits, and knowing the true ability and value of PV in meeting that goal will be a crucial tool for designing solar policies and programs.

In addition, the DAS will create a data set valuable for verifying the accuracy of solar estimator tools. Data from the DAS will be used to validate and calibrate the estimation layer of the NYC Solar Map.

The real-time production information will also support the NYC SAC outreach efforts by demonstrating PV generation as well as by tracking the growth of solar. This information will be publicly available on the Sustainable CUNY website as well as the New York City Solar Map