“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” Frank Sinatra famously sang about New York. Energy storage is a pivotal clean energy technology looking to make it in New York, and if it’s successful, you can be sure that states and municipalities nationwide will be following suit.
New York state, understanding that energy storage is essential to speeding up the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy, is an early adopter of battery storage technologies. Energy storage systems store electricity generated by renewables, such as solar and wind, and release it when power is needed.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans to double the state’s energy storage deployment target from 3 GW to at least 6 GW by 2030 as part of a suite of clean energy announcements.
New York’s 3 GW target already led the country for the end of the decade. The new target, detailed in Hochul’s State of the State book is accompanied by market reforms and cost-effective procurement mechanisms and incentives for private customers to install storage.
“The ambitious new goal will be achievable with state support,” said William Acker, executive director of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) consortium whose mission is to catalyze and grow the energy storage industry and establish New York State as a global leader in advancing this key solution for a clean energy future. “The work that has been done over the past year has led to an understanding of the need for a greater amount of storage to facilitate a clean energy grid.”
“NY-BEST applauds Governor Hochul for her visionary leadership in establishing an ambitious agenda that embraces the role of energy storage as an essential technology to achieve the State’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals and to grow our economy,” said Acker.
Energy storage examples in New York State abound and include:
- A notorious power plant in Queens that many considered New York City’s worst source of air pollution is being converted to the East River Energy Storage System featuring a 100-megawatt battery facility. The project is expected to be able to store or release electricity on demand helping to support the integration of new sources of renewable energy including wind, hydro, and solar generation to replace fossil fuel generated energy.
- University of Buffalo will pilot a zinc energy storage system.
- Con-Edison to deploy battery storage and vehicle chargers at Brooklyn site.
- Major shopping mall to install energy storage system in East New York.
- A major residential 32-building community in Queens is installing a Zinc-Air energy storage system in combination with a combined heat and power system and a PV array. The pilot project is intended at demonstrating the long-duration energy storage capability of the zinc-air battery.
New York state is targeting generating 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. New York is already leading the nation as its existing 3GW energy storage deployment target is the largest state-level policy goal in America.
“The era of supporting fossil fuels, even as a temporary bridge to a clean future, is over,” said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group. “The United States has shifted to accelerated decarbonization.”
“In terms of energy storage to date, batteries have dominated the market,” reports Accenture. “They offer unmatched flexibility to address the additional variability inherent in renewables, helping maintain grid stability. Their capability of acting as both a generation resource and point of energy demand, and the speed at which they can respond to operational signals, allows them to provide a wide range of services including peak load shaving, load shifting, demand response, capacity reserve/resource adequacy and ancillary services.”
New York, well ahead of the nation’s curve, established the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 1995, a public benefit corporation that advances innovative energy solutions to improve New York State’s economy and environment by using renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
NYSERDA has led a clean energy revolution in New York and has invested over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale-up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019 and have established New York as a national leader in advancing these resources.
Energy storage is critical to New York’s clean energy future. As renewable power sources like wind and solar provide a larger portion of New York’s electricity, storage will allow clean energy to be available when and where it is most needed.
As New York continues to invest and build its cleaner grid, energy storage will allow the state to better use existing resources more efficiently and with fewer emissions. With storage, New York’s grid can reduce electricity from the dirtiest power plants during periods of peak demand, such as on hot summer days.
The burgeoning demand for energy storage, versus conventional sources including oil, coal and petroleum, sees no diminishment in sight. As our world continues to fight climate change, the energy storage sector’s technology costs continue to lower with rising demand across nearly all industries.