Construction starts on NYPA large-scale, 20-MW energy battery storage project

August 27, 2020

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
August 27, 2020

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Aug. 26 announced the start of construction on a large-scale, 20-megawatt (MW) energy battery storage project in Northern New York, one of the largest such projects in the nation.

The facility, located in Franklin County at the top of the state, will advance progress toward achieving New York’s target to have 3,000 MW of energy storage deployed by 2030, NYPA noted.

The project is expected to be in service early next year.

The battery storage facility, which is located in Chateaugay, adjacent to an existing NYPA substation, will be the second of its kind in New York State — the only battery storage project that is New York State owned and operated.

The project will include a unique 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 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.

NYPA said that increasing energy storage capabilities also helps to realize New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’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, NYPA said.

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.  

“This transformative energy storage project will enable us to integrate more renewable energy, such as hydro, wind and solar, into the New York State grid,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.

“These large-scale batteries are one of the keys to growing renewables,” he said. “With these projects, we can store energy for times of high demand and give our transmission system greater flexibility and resiliency. Storing renewable energy also is critical to helping New York State meet Governor Cuomo’s aggressive clean energy targets and to fighting climate change.”

The American Public Power Association earlier this year launched the Public Power Energy Storage Tracker, a resource for association members that summarizes energy storage projects undertaken by members that are currently online.

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