Energy Storage

NYSERDA completes 20 MW energy storage project in New York

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) completed Key Capture Energy’s system, a 20 MW battery installation in New York that will serve the state’s electrical system by enhancing power grid performance and reliability and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy storage system supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal, which mandates New York’s energy storage target of 3,000 MW by 2030, the largest target in the country.

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Key Capture Energy’s project, called KCE NY1, is located in the Capital Region and the company’s first since it relocated its headquarters from Houston to downtown Albany in 2018 in partnership with the University at Albany and the state’s START-UP NY program, administered by Empire State Development.

Since joining START-UP NY, Key Capture Energy has more than doubled the size of its Albany team to 14 employees to advance the development of the company’s portfolio of utility-scale battery storage projects in New York. To further support its efforts to integrate into the state, the company has hired several employees from the University at Albany and is giving extra consideration to New York State-based supplier and service companies.

Energy storage enhances the efficiency of the electric grid by capturing excess power and storing that excess power in industrial-sized batteries for later use. Key Capture Energy’s project will help balance electric load and generation by storing and discharging power based upon the changing needs of the grid.

By doing so, the battery is providing similar services to the electric transmission system as those provided by certain fossil fuel power plants and will thereby help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This clean energy pathway was detailed in a recent study released by the Department of Public Service, The Potential for Energy Storage to Repower or Replace Peaking Units in New York State, which confirmed that storage, or storage with solar, could provide similar services to peaking units that rely on fossil fuel, thereby helping to eliminate greenhouse gas and other emissions.

The Key Capture Energy system is the first to be completed since Cuomo announced the state’s Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Program in April, which included $150 million for bulk storage projects – for systems over 5 MW that primarily provide wholesales market energy or distribution service. Key Capture Energy was awarded $1.3 million from NYSERDA under the Bulk Storage incentive program for this project.

The Incentive Program also provides $149 million for retail storage projects – customer or distribution utility-sited systems below five megawatts which are smaller and installed alone or paired with onsite generation such as solar. The funds are part of an overall $400 million investment in energy storage to accelerate growth within the industry and drive down energy storage deployment costs to build a sustainable and affordable market. This initiative will be complemented by a $250 million commitment that the New York Power Authority (NYPA) made last December to accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid by collaborating on grid-scale energy storage projects and addressing market and financing barriers.