Energy Storage, News, T&D

Construction begins on NYPA’s second large-scale storage project

RH Saunders Generating StationCredit: By ceedub13, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11361186

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) last week announced the start of construction on a large-scale, 20-MW energy battery storage project in Northern New York, one of the largest such projects in the nation. The MW-hours of the system were not stated but the release said that the project will include a one-hour lithium-ion battery system that will help New York State meet its peak power needs by absorbing excess generation that can be discharged later, based upon the changing needs of the grid. 

 The facility is located in Franklin County at the top of the state and is adjacent to a NYPA substation. It is expected to be in service early next year. 

The battery storage facility is one of two systems of its size in the state and among the largest such facilities in the country.  

The other system is a 20-MW battery energy storage system developed by Key Capture Energy in Stillwater, N.Y (Saratoga County). That project, funded by NYSERDA under the state’s Bulk Storage incentive program, is connected to the wholesale transmission network and will generate revenue for the Albany-based independent utility-scale battery storage developer through participation in the New York Independent System Operator’s wholesale power markets.

The NYPA Board of Trustees approved $23.8 million for the project in 2019 at its July 30 meeting. The total estimated project cost is $29.8 million – $6 million of which was initially approved by the NYPA board in October 2018. 

“This innovative storage project is a significant step for the continued growth of renewable energy in New York State,” said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice chairman and Massena resident. “The North Country is the ideal location to model a large-scale battery storage facility because of the proximity of the St. Lawrence hydropower project and extensive wind resources. Being able to store this renewable energy will improve transmission of the state’s electric power to downstate markets while promoting economic growth in upstate New York.” 

Increasing energy storage capabilities also helps to realize the Governor’s climate change mitigation policies which aim to reduce the state’s carbon footprint to zero by 2040 and ensure that 70 percent of the State’s electricity supply comes from renewables by 2030. 

The work is being undertaken by O’Connell Electric Company, Inc., of Victor, N.Y. in Ontario County in the Finger Lakes region. The firm was awarded a three-year engineering, procurement and construction contract in the amount of $22.6 million by the NYPA Board of Trustees last year in a competitive bidding process.

The project’s strategic location in Northern New York is significant in encouraging efficient, reliable renewable energy growth. More than 80 percent of the region’s electricity supply comes from renewable resources, including NYPA’s St. Lawrence hydropower project and more than 650 MW of local wind generation. Having the capability to store renewable energy for later delivery also will help eliminate current transmission constraints that can prevent energy from being delivered to consumers.

The energy storage system will supply the New York wholesale energy and ancillary service markets and will contribute to the reliability of the supply of electric power in New York.