If you can’t count on the federal government to protect its citizens from the ravages of climate change, then you have to count on the states to step up. With the sixth largest economy on planet Earth, California has led the way in vehicle electrification, EPA emissions standards, solar homes mandates, and many other energy policy efforts to thwart climate change. Not to be outdone, however, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the release of the state’s comprehensive Energy Storage Roadmap to guide New York toward a “nation-leading” energy storage target. NY’s Roadmap sparks the development of clean energy technology while supporting the Governor’s energy storage target of 1,500 megawatts by 2025.
The ambitious 1500 MW goal is equivalent to the electricity demand of 1/5 of all NY homes. The comprehensive plan will also bolster the Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers to combat climate change.
Background of NY’s Roadmap
The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. These efforts are key to developing a less polluting and more reliable and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Collectively, NYSERDA’s efforts aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate economic growth, and reduce customer energy bills.
On January 3, 2018, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo pledged to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by growing the clean energy economy. The state of New York has a clean energy goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, supported in part by its NY-Sun Initiative, which has a budget of $1 billion and has boosted New York’s inventory of installed solar by a factor of 10 since 2011.
New York State has some of the most aggressive energy and climate goals in the country, including:
- The Clean Energy Standard, a mandate to get 50% of electricity in the State from renewable sources by 2030;
- A 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (using 1990 as a baseline); and,
- Saving 185 trillion Btus (British Thermal units) in end-use energy by 2030 through greater efficiency.
To make this possible, NYSERDA’s Energy Storage Initiative focuses on creating a market for energy storage systems that support:
- Clean energy generation and carbon reduction;
- Less demand on the grid during the busiest times of day and year (peak demand reduction);
- Lower electricity costs; and,
- A more resilient grid.
“Clean energy is the future of our planet, and New York will continue to lead the nation in this technology to fight climate change and conserve resources for generations to come,” Governor Cuomo said. “This Roadmap is the next step to not only grow our clean energy economy and create jobs, but to improve the resiliency of the grid to keep our power running in the face of extreme weather and other emergency situations.”
NY Roadmap Will Accelerate Energy Storage Projects
The NY Roadmap identifies short-term recommendations for how energy storage can deliver value to New York electricity consumers and cost-effectively address the needs and demands of the grid. The Roadmap provides a set of specific recommended actions to accelerate the deployment of energy storage projects in New York State and position the state as a leading national market for advanced energy storage projects. The plan was developed by the Department of Public Service and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority with input from numerous stakeholders.
“There is no doubt that we must act with urgency to combat the threat posed by climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
“We are already seeing the impact on our environment with New Yorkers continuing to be imperiled by rising temperatures and incidents of extreme weather. Like so many other issues, when the federal government ignores the reality, New York steps up to lead the way and put forward real solutions. Our state’s energy vision is leading us toward the cleanest, most advanced, and efficient energy system in the nation. The Energy Storage Roadmap represents the next crucial step forward to tackle climate change and further develop our clean energy economy.”
Power Authority’s Energy Storage Projects
The New York Power Authority is currently working on several energy storage projects that demonstrate the value of the technology, which will continue to increase as the Roadmap is implemented. This work includes a partnership with the State University of New York on multiple projects that would allow the university system to utilize stored solar power during emergencies and times of peak energy demand. A solar energy and battery storage system was completed this spring at the SUNY New Paltz campus. Planning is underway for a similar system at the SUNY Delhi campus.
Achieving the state’s ambitious 2025 target will deliver approximately $2 billion gross lifetime benefits to New Yorkers, including electric distribution system savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as added resiliency to the electric grid by reducing the impact of outages caused by severe weather. Adding more energy storage into the system will also maximize the benefits of other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and will help to ensure they are available when needed to meet peak demand for electricity.
The Roadmap supports New York’s status as a home for the growing clean tech industry, which has the potential to create up to 30,000 new, good-paying jobs in the energy storage industry. It will build on New York’s commitment to combat climate change and grow the energy storage sector, which has already seen job growth of 30 percent in New York between 2012 and 2015.
NY’s Roadmap Recommendations
In order to advance energy storage development in ways that are viable, replicable, and scalable, the Roadmap recommends:
- Providing $350 million in statewide market acceleration incentives to fast-track the adoption of advanced storage systems to be located at customer sites or on the distribution or bulk electric systems
- Adding incentives for energy storage to NYSERDA’s successful NY-Sun initiative to accelerate the development of solar plus storage projects and allow those projects to access federal tax credits before they expire
- Regulatory changes to utility rates, utility solicitations and carbon values to reflect the system benefits and values of storage projects;
- Continuing to address project permitting and siting challenges and reduce system indirect expenses and soft costs
- Recommending modifications to wholesale market rules to better enable storage participation, including allowing storage to meet both electric distribution system and wholesale system needs to provide greater value for ratepayers
Additionally, as proposed by Governor Cuomo in his 2018 State of the State, NY Green Bank seeks to invest at least $200 million in storage-related investments, which will help drive down costs for the strategic deployment of energy storage at scale. To support this commitment, NY Green Bank has released a Request for Information to solicit direct interest from project developers on how it can address financing gaps and support energy storage projects. NY Green Bank is also expected to issue a Request for Proposals later this year for projects combining solar and energy storage.
These recommendations and engagement commitments by NY Green Bank will not only advance New York toward its ambitious 2025 target as called for by Governor Cuomo, but also put New York on a path to meet a 2030 target, expected to be established by the Public Service Commission later this year.