Recent NY-BEST News and Notes

News stories and other notes about NY-BEST, New York State and the Battery and Energy Storage Industry beyond New York. Only the last few weeks of news are shown here, to see older news click here.

 NY-BEST Member

New York Climate Plan Sets 30-Year Goal For 100% Renewable Energy
1 month 4 hours ago
Solar panels on every roof. Parking meters that double as car chargers. Wind turbines towering above farm fields and ocean waves. Cars, home furnaces and factories converted to run on electricity from renewable sources. A new law signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for all the state’s electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Transportation and building heating systems would also run on clean electricity rather than oil and gas. But while the goals of the legislation signed Thursday are clear, details on how to achieve them are undetermined. It isn’t clear how much all this change will cost, or even whether it is all technically feasible.
Coal, Gas Sink As New York Sails Into Offshore Wind Power Mega-Deal
1 month 4 hours ago
It’s been another gloomy week on the fossil fuel front, but first things first: yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo committed his home state to the largest ever offshore wind power deal in US history. That’s a pretty short history, considering that the US offshore wind industry only sank its first “steel in the water” almost exactly four years ago this month. Nevertheless, the news doesn’t bode well for the nation’s dwindling coal power fleet. It also coincides with a new study exploring the potential for battery energy storage to replace conventional power plants for grid reliability.
NY Commits $55 Million to Long Island Energy Storage
1 month 1 day ago
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $55 million for energy storage, including commercial and residential storage projects, on Long Island. This program will be launched with an initial rollout of nearly $15 million in incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Energy storage projects supported by this Long Island initiative will advance progress toward achieving New York's target of 3,000MW of energy storage deployed by 2030 — the equivalent to powering 40% of New York's homes. The announcement supports Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, a clean energy jobs agenda putting New York on a path to carbon neutrality.
Cryogenic Energy Storage Firm Teams With Tenaska to Develop US Projects
1 month 1 day ago
London-headquatered Highview Power has contracted with Nebraska-based Tenaska Power Services to help develop up to four gigawatt-hour scale cryogenic energy storage plants in the United States over two years, with the first project expected to be developed in the ERCOT market. Highview’s technology uses electricity to chill and liquefy air at -320°F, stores the liquid air in insulated, low-pressure tanks, and later exposes the liquid air to ambient temperatures to rapidly re-gasify the air, expanding it to 700 times its liquid volume, to power turbines to generate electricity. The firm notes that its system can be configured to also use waste heat and cold.
SimpliPhi Power Again Increases Capacity Across Entire Energy Storage Product Line While Lowering Prices
1 month 2 days ago
For the second time in less than two years, SimpliPhi Power is increasing storage capacity and reducing prices across its entire line of energy storage and management solutions -- responding to escalating global demand for higher energy density batteries that are safer, more reliable and efficient at a greater value. The company’s top selling PHI 3.5 and PHI 2.7 kWh battery models are now enhanced to offer greater energy capacity, increased to PHI 3.8 kWh and PHI 2.9 kWh respectively while maintaining the same compact size, low weight, scalability and high performance. The all-in-one AccESS, ExprESS and Genny product lines will also feature higher capacity PHI batteries and a lower up-front price per kWh.
Yonkers' alpha-en Corp Receives $1 M Grant for Battery Technology
1 month 2 days ago
Yonkers-based alpha-Encorp has received a $1 million technology development grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for its battery technology that can be used in diverse applications ranging from electric vehicles to portable electronics. The company stated that its patented electrodeposition method produces thin films of highly pure lithium on myriad substrates that can be used in the creation of next-generation batteries. Current lithium ion batteries require lithium graphite anodes, but a lower weight and higher efficiency alternative to the lithium graphite anode is being developed by alpha-Encorp with the goal of expanding the environmental benefits associated with electric vehicle batteries. Alpha-Encore stated that is aiming to automate its process for manufacturing purposes.
Sunrun Gets a Second Contract to Supply Capacity from Rooftop Solar + Batteries
1 month 2 days ago
Electricity experts have been talking for a long time about a future where the power grid runs largely on distributed resources including rooftop solar and batteries. And while behind-the-meter solar has been supplying energy for some time, it has not widely been recognized for its ability to provide capacity – in other words to meet the need for steady, predictable power when it is most needed. But this is changing, and fast. In February, Sunrun won a bid to provide 20 MW of capacity from the company’s residential solar + storage systems to the grid operator in New England. And late yesterday, the company followed that by announcing that it has won a contract from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) to supply capacity from 500 kW / 2 megawatt-hours of batteries paired with solar installations on low-income housing, under a 10-year contract.
New York Awards 1.7 GW of Offshore Wind as Cuomo Signs State's Green New Deal
1 month 2 days ago
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind deals with two development groups, as he signed into law the state’s ambitious Green New Deal. Not only is it the largest offshore wind procurement to date in the U.S., topping New Jersey's recent 1.1-gigawatt solicitation, but state officials said it was the single largest renewables procurement in the country's history. The 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind project will be built by Denmark’s Ørsted and its utility partner Eversource Energy, feeding power onto densely populated Long Island. "Long Island needs that power, and it needs it today," Cuomo said in front of a packed audience in Manhattan.
Energy Stored in Underground Caverns Joins Megabatteries in South Australia
1 month 2 days ago
Canadian company Hydrostor has just received approval to build the first grid-scale compressed air energy storage system in Australia. Hydrostor will deploy a 5MW / 10MWh system at a former zinc mine near Strathalbyn, South Australia. The advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) project, expected to cost AU$30 million (US$21.09 million) in total, received development approval and has been welcomed in statements by local politicians including South Australia’s energy and mining minister, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan.
Storage Can Help Meet New York's Peak Power Needs
1 month 3 days ago
There is a notable new report, The Potential for Energy Storage to Repower or Replace Peaking Units in New York State, from the New York Department of Public Service Staff, in consultation with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Con Edison. The report, which was initiated as part of the storage order from the Public Service Commission in December 2018, show that there are a number of power plants in New York City and Long Island that are candidates to be fully replaced by the output of electricity storage batteries or batteries and solar because they run very infrequently (less than 10 percent of the time, and for very few hours each time each time they started) and have very heavy emissions (based on their operations in 2013, which had the most electric system peaks of recent years).
Integrated Storage Technologies Closes $1.3 Million Seed Round Appoints James P. McDougall as Chairman
1 month 4 days ago
The Brooklyn headquartered company is known for its expertise in diverse energy storage & controls applications with a core focus of Front-of-the-Meter & commercial and industrial energy storage projects. IST can, for instance, help a building owner save money on their demand charges, or work with developers or utilities to design and manage the delivery of MW- scale energy storage power to relieve congestion on power lines, especially on hot summer months. The round was led by seed and early-stage investor Richard Klein, who specializes in investing with alternative energy technology and service companies. He successfully guided start-up companies on advancing their technologies, identifying markets, and managing their growth. Richard is a seasoned early stage investor with numerous prominent successfully exits in the clean technology space. Richard's investment was followed by James P. McDougall, an energy storage veteran, CEO, angel investor, venture capitalist and startup professional with global experience in building high performing teams. James was previously the CEO of Younicos, a company similar to IST which he turned around and sold in a very successful transaction.

 Beyond New York

Taking Aim at PJM's 10-Hour Duration Capacity Rule for Energy Storage
4 weeks 4 hours ago
Over the past year and a half, the U.S. energy storage industry has been getting into arguments with grid operators over their plans to implement Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 841, the mandate to integrate energy storage assets into the country’s wholesale energy markets. The biggest argument to date has been over PJM’s insistence on a 10-hour duration requirement for batteries to play in its capacity market. Storage advocates and clean energy groups say the proposal violates FERC Order 841’s call for open and equal access for energy storage assets, by effectively making it impossible for lithium-ion batteries to economically compete against fossil-fuel-fired plants in the country’s biggest capacity market.
Silent, No Gears and Cheaper Every Day: Electric Cars Aren't So Hard to Get Used To
4 weeks 1 day ago
A few weeks ago in western Sydney, I fanged around the Eastern Creek racetrack looking to kick the wheels of the electric car revolution. A lot has been written on the viability of the electric car: the price, the availability, the range, the chargers. But this was solely about the driving experience, from the perspective of someone who has only ever driven petrol cars. I tested six cars – from pure electric, to hydrogen fuel-cell, to petrol-hybrids. From the Tesla X SUV, to the fully electric SEA truck, to the one-person, three-wheel Toyota iRoad (which we will never speak of again).
Blackrock Buys 80% Stake in GE's Distributed Solar and Storage Business
1 month 2 days ago
General Electric (GE) has sold a majority investment in its seven-year-old distributed solar and storage business to global asset manager BlackRock. BlackRock took an 80% stake in the new company, Distributed Solar Development (DSD). GE will retain a 20% stake. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The giant global asset manager's backing is a positive sign for the solar segment, which has become increasingly attractive to big investors.
How The New York City Blackout Could Have Been Prevented
1 month 5 days ago
New York City was sent into a frenzy on Saturday when a massive blackout struck much of Manhattan leaving millions without power exactly 42 years to the day since the last large-scale Manhattan outage. The power went out around 7 p.m. due to an alleged transformer fire affecting large parts of Midtown and the Upper West Side and trapping thousands in Subway trains and building elevators. While it seems that nobody saw the outage coming, it begs the question, could such an emergency have been avoided? Nicki Zvik, Founder of Green Solar Technologies, weighs in. "We saw one of the main and most dangerous issues with the world's reliance on utility companies this past Saturday," says Zvik. "When so many put all of their eggs in one basket, it only takes one slip up to cause chaos. But fortunately, we have options, and the best alternative by far happens to be solar energy."
To Green the Grid, Take a Lesson From the Auto Industry
1 month 5 days ago
Consider for a moment why hybrid cars are so efficient: most of the time, when you’re cruising, the engine charges the battery. When you do need peak power, the battery and engine work together to move the car. This lets the car get away with a smaller engine, and lets the engine run at a more efficient speed most of the time. Scale this idea up, and it works for the power grid: add batteries to handle demands for peak power, and we can build fewer fossil fuel plants, or even get rid of some of the old dirty ones. As a bonus, the batteries let existing power plants run at more steady, efficient levels, since the batteries are very good at handling the ebb and surge of power demand. As an even bigger bonus, batteries make it much easier to manage greater amounts of wind and solar power.
Maine Enacts Beneficial Electrification Law; State to Issue RFP for Pilot Projects
1 month 5 days ago
Maine’s governor has signed into law a bill that boosts beneficial electrification — the electrification of technologies that would otherwise use fossil fuels — in an effort to improve efficiency, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and cut consumer costs. Electrification of transportation and buildings is seen as a driver for microgrids, since it will increase demand for power and encourage more decentralization of energy production. Authored by Rep. Tina Riley and signed by Gov. Janet Mills in June, HP-1071 also requires that the Maine Public Utilities issue a request for proposals (RFP) seeking pilot projects for electrifying transportation in the state.