N.Y. regulators approve, with conditions, 316-MW battery storage project in Long Island City

When fully built, the storage project would represent more than 10% of the state’s storage goal of 3,000 MW by 2030, the company said

LS Power on Oct. 21 said that the New York State Public Service Commission on Oct. 17 granted – subject to conditions – a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the company’s 316-MW battery energy storage project at the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y.

LS Power noted that the storage project was accepted in the New York ISO (NYISO) 2019 interconnection facility study process and is therefore well positioned to be able to meet a 2022 in-service requirement.

When fully built, the storage project would represent more than 10% of the state’s storage goal of 3,000 MW by 2030, the company said.
LS Power noted that Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison) in July issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 300 MW of battery energy storage following a commission order, with a requirement to be operational by Dec. 31, 2022.

Mike Vogt, vice president of Project Development at LS Power, said in the statement, in part: “With this key approval in hand, we look forward to moving to the next important step in this project, which includes submittal of a solid battery energy storage system proposal to Con Edison in response to their RFP. The Ravenswood Generating Station Battery Energy Storage Project was designed to support the regional growth in renewables over the next decade and we look forward to working with Con Edison and New York to achieve their goals.”

As noted in an Oct. 17 commission statement, the energy storage facility – which is expected to be partially operational by March 2021 – will be able to provide peak capacity, energy and ancillary services, as well as offset more carbon-intensive on-peak generation with power stored during the off-peak period, and enhance grid reliability in New York City.

The project will be developed in an area of the generating station that is occupied in part by peaker units, most of which are not in service, the commission said. The project will include enough lithium-ion batteries to supply up to a maximum of eight hours of storage capacity at its rated output and will be able to charge and discharge up to 316 MW of power, the commission said.

As noted in the commission’s order, Ravenswood Development, LLC – which proposes to build and operate the storage facility – is a wholly owned subsidiary of Helix Generation, LLC, which was formed to directly or indirectly acquire and hold the membership interests of the entities that own and/or operate electric generating units located at the Ravenswood Generating Station. Ravenswood Development avers that Helix Generation is a direct subsidiary of LS Power Equity Partners III, L.P., and an indirect subsidiary of, and wholly controlled by, LS Power Development, LLC.

 

Further discussing the facility site, the commission noted that the generating station consists of about 27 acres of land located in Long Island City, and that according to Ravenswood Development, the land is zoned industrial for heavy manufacturing purposes within an M3-1 district. The storage facility site is bordered by the Roosevelt Island Bridge Access and Con Edison 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 commission also noted that according to Ravenswood Development, each lithium-ion battery module of the storage facility would be a sealed Underwriters Laboratory listed product that is installed as a component in battery racks inside a building, with the racks bolted to the floor. Batteries for the storage facility will be installed in three buildings and connected to bi-directional, skid-mounted battery inverters, which are expected to be located outside in a weatherproof enclosure, the commission added. The final project design might require some inverter units to be located inside the buildings.

The commission also said that Ravenswood Development notes that the current project design includes up to 136 inverters connected in pairs of up to 68 generator step-up transformers, which will connect to two larger substation step-up transformers via underground cables and two switchgears.

The step-up transformers will connect to a new 345-kV and/or 138-kV gas insulated substation (GIS) that will be licensed, built, owned, and operated within the existing Ravenswood Generating Station by Con Edison. The commission added that Ravenswood Development represents that it, and not Con Edison or its ratepayers, will bear all costs associated with substation construction.

Ravenswood Development anticipates building the storage facility in three phases:

  • First Phase – Southeast Building, up to 129 MW energy storage capacity
  • Second Phase – North Building, up to 98 MW energy storage capacity
  • Third Phase – Southwest Building, up to 89 MW energy storage capacity

The commission added that up to 16 existing peaker units and associated equipment will be demolished to accommodate the storage facility, thereby replacing up to 316 MW of peaking unit capacity with storage capacity.

Among other things, the commission said that Ravenswood Development is to, within 90 days of the issuance of the order and every three years thereafter, file with the commission secretary a decommissioning cost study in conformance with the requirements set forth in the order. The decommissioning cost estimate is to be updated by a qualified independent engineer licensed to practice engineering in New York to reflect inflation and any other changes in cost.

The commission also said that Ravenswood Development is to obey unit commitment and dispatch instructions issued by the NYISO, or its successor, in order to maintain the reliability of the transmission system.