New York Power Authority announces plan to develop North Country energy storage demonstration project to spur growth of renewables, build flexibility into power grid

(Oct. 2, 2018) – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced plans to establish a new 20 megawatt (MW) battery project in Northern New York that will demonstrate the operation of a large-scale energy storage system. The first-of-its kind project supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to combat climate change and grow the energy storage sector.

“The Northern New York region is a major source of renewable energy generation and building flexibility into the electric grid will improve the adequacy, economy and reliability of the supply of electric power throughout New York State,” said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice chairman and Massena resident. “By acting as a catalyst for the acceleration of projects across the state, the Power Authority will enhance the state’s storage capabilities and help ensure New York’s clean energy future.”

The NYPA Board of Trustees today approved spending $6 million for preliminary development of the 20 MW battery facility at a NYPA-owned power substation in the North Country. The project will help kick-start energy storage adoption throughout the state, supporting the Governor’s nation-leading Energy Storage Roadmap, which sets out how New York State will work to achieve energy storage targets and specifically targets a plan for building 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025—the equivalent electricity demand of one-fifth of all New York homes.

Increasing energy storage capabilities also bolsters the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient, and affordable energy system and ensure that 50 percent of the State’s electricity supply comes from renewables by 2030.

“The North Country Energy Storage Project will be a first-of-its kind for the Power Authority,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. “Developing, operating and optimizing a lithium-ion battery system of this size will help us advance energy storage development efforts at the Power Authority, as well as position us to lead storage adoption across the State.”

Approximately 80 percent of the electricity supply in Northern New York is from renewable resources, which includes the Authority’s St. Lawrence hydropower project and more than 650 MW of wind generation. Canadian hydropower energy imports also come in through this region, and a significant amount of additional wind and solar power development is expected in the area. However, current transmission constraints can prevent the energy from being delivered downstate. Storing renewable energy, by using a battery to absorb excess generation, for later delivery through projects like this one is a viable solution to this transmission constraint.

The battery storage facility is targeted to go into service in 2020.

Assemblywoman Addie Jenne said, “The North Country has always been at the forefront of clean energy generation and developing storage capacity to maximize its use is sound policy. Storage capacity, coupled with investments in transmission infrastructure, will benefit our environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and will provide economic growth in our region.  Our region is a major player in this industry and with thoughtful investments and generation siting we can preserve and make the best use of our natural assets while providing for today’s energy needs.  This investment by NYPA in furtherance of Gov. Cuomo’s energy policy goals fits in well with our North Country sensibilities.”

Source: NYPA