New York Power Authority making $250 million investment to make energy grid more flexible
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 12:09 pm

New York Power Authority (NYPA) plans to invest $250 million by 2025 to improve the flexibility of the electric grid to give residents across the state greater access to renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power.

The multi-pronged, collaborative investment will address key market and financing barriers, accelerate implementation of up to 150 megawatts (MW) of grid flexibility projects and decrease market risk, a NYPA press release said.

The project supports the goals in the New York Energy Storage Roadmap, which identifies recommended actions toward realizing the state’s nation-leading 1,500 MW storage deployment target by 2025—the equivalent electricity demand of one-fifth of all New York homes. Last year, Gov. Cuomo announced the 1,500 MW target by 2025 to put New York on a path toward a larger 2030 target to be announced by the end of the year.

This initiative helps accelerate Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system and ensures that 50 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030, NYPA said.

“Building more flexibility into the electricity grid will expedite the transition to a renewable energy future and play a critical role in achieving the state’s energy goals,” said NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel. “Strong partnerships with customers and the private sector will be essential if we are to both demonstrate the opportunities and rapidly address the challenges presented by deployment of storage and demand flexibility on New York’s electric grid.”

NYPA will invite New York State’s distribution utilities and 51 municipal and rural cooperative electric systems to conduct collaborative test-and-learn demonstrations to determine the capabilities and value of various storage and demand management tools that could be used to provide services to the grid, the release said. With its open sourced innovation, NYPA will also be looking for partners in the public and private sector as it identifies initial locations for the first tranche of projects.

“Many of the services will focus on energy storage and demand management. Energy storage is essential in transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy to ensure that renewable energy resources are available at the right times—when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing—and at the right location that provides the most benefits to the electric grid,” NYPA said.

The initial phase of funding directs up to 30 percent of the $250 million to be allocated into three primary new demonstration programs through the end of 2020, including:

• Energy Infrastructure: Identify and demonstrate opportunities to deploy storage and demand flexibility to defer, reduce or avoid investments caused by locational congestion or retiring plants and infrastructure.

• Distributed Energy Resources: Optimize the role that behind-the-meter customer energy resources and buildings can play in supporting a clean, renewable energy system, and simplify the role that these resources play in the New York energy markets.

• Renewable Generation: Pair storage and renewables for longer intermittency durations, build flexibility into the generation and transmission system to balance different geographical locations of renewables and explore longer duration demand flexibility.

The balance of the $250 million will be directed into accelerating storage and demand flexibility, with specific projects dependent on emerging market needs, collaborative project proposals with third-parties and customer preferences.