N.Y. regulators to hold hearing on proposed battery based energy storage facility

As the commission noted, Ravenswood is seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity to develop a standalone, battery based, energy storage facility with a capacity of up to about 316 MW

The New York State Public Service Commission on Sept. 12 said that it will hold a public statement hearing in Long Island City on Sept. 19 to receive comments on Ravenswood Development, LLC’s request to develop a battery based energy storage facility on a portion of the Ravenswood Generating Station property in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y.

As the commission noted, Ravenswood is seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to develop a standalone, battery based, energy storage facility with a capacity of up to about 316 MW. The commission said that Ravenswood is also seeking an order finding that Ravenswood, as a wholesale electric market participant, is entitled to a lightened regulatory regime.

As TransmissionHub reported, the project would not generate any new electricity, but would store electricity drawn from the grid and generated by other facilities, Ravenswood said, adding that stored energy would then be released to the grid in accordance with dispatch orders of the New York ISO (NYISO) and Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison).

The project is proposed to be developed in three phases, according to Ravenswood, which also noted that the project would be developed in an area of the generating station that is occupied in part by peaker units, most of which are currently not in service.

The generating station is located at 38-54 Vernon Boulevard and consists of about 27 acres of land, Ravenswood said. The project would be located on an approximately seven-acre portion of land in the northern section of the generating station parcel, Ravenswood said, noting that the project site is bordered by the Roosevelt Island Bridge Access and Con Edison’s Rainey substation to the north; Vernon Boulevard to the east; the main Ravenswood generating station to the south; and the East River to the west.

The project would include enough batteries to supply up to a maximum of eight hours of storage capacity at its rated output and would be able to charge, as well as discharge, at up to 316 MW of power. Ravenswood added that the facility would be able to provide peak capacity, energy, and ancillary services, as well as enhance grid reliability in New York City (NYISO Zone J).

The project would use lithium-ion batteries to absorb electrical energy from and discharge electricity energy to the power grid. Ravenswood added that the batteries would be connected in series and in parallel to provide the total energy storage capacity. Each battery module would be a sealed, finished, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed product installed as a component in battery racks inside a building; the racks would be arranged in rows with aisles for access, and would be bolted securely to the floor, Ravenswood said.

The initial project design contemplates three battery buildings, Ravenswood said, adding that the batteries would connect to bi-directional, skid-mounted battery inverters, which are expected to be located outdoors in a weatherproof enclosure and connected to the batteries via cable trays or underground conduit inside the buildings, as well as cable trays, underground conduit, or buried cables outside, though some inverter units may be situated inside the buildings depending on final design.

The project is anticipated to be built in three phases with each battery building built in a separate phase as such:

  • 1st Phase: Southeast Building – up to 129 MW
  • 2nd Phase: North Building – up to 98 MW
  • 3rd Phase: Southwest Building – up to 89 MW

The initial project design includes up to 136 inverters that would be connected in pairs to up to 68 generator step-up transformers, which would all connect to two larger plant step-up transformers via underground cables and two switchgears, Ravenswood added. The project’s step-up transformers would connect to a new 345-kV and/or 138-kV gas insulated substation to be licensed, built, owned, and operated by Con Edison within the existing Ravenswood generating station, Ravenswood said. The new substation is anticipated to be located adjacent to the proposed battery storage project and would tap existing transmission lines passing underneath the project site and Vernon Boulevard from the nearby Rainey substation operated by Con Edison, Ravenswood said.

The project would require the demolition of up to 16 existing peaker units and associated equipment currently on the project site, Ravenswood said, noting that only two of those units – Gas Turbine (GT) 10 and 11 – are currently in service.

Among other things, Ravenswood said that the proposed commercial operation date for the first phase of the project is in March 2021. Work on the second and third phases of the project would be determined in response to several factors, including evolving governmental rules, incentives, and market initiatives Ravenswood noted.

As noted in the filing, Ravenswood is a wholly owned subsidiary of Helix Ravenswood, LLC, which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Helix Generation, LLC. Helix Ravenswood owns the real property at the Ravenswood generating station. The filing also noted that Helix Generation is a direct subsidiary of LS Power Equity Partners III, L.P., which is wholly controlled by LS Power Development, LLC.

In its Sept. 12 statement, the commission said that individuals may also comment on the matter via the internet (www.dps.ny.gov – Case Number 19-E-0122); email (secretary@dps.ny.gov); mail (Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y. 12223-1350); and telephone (1-800-335-2120).