Con Edison has filed a project that will bring battery storage technology to New York City neighborhoods to help keep service reliable during the hot summer months.
By the summer of 2018, the company will deploy batteries capable of sending 1 MW of power for four hours into the grid to serve homes and businesses. Con Edison will determine where to deploy the batteries each summer based on the needs of its electrical networks.
The project, called "Storage on Demand," is the second battery demonstration project Con Edison has filed in 2017. The company believes both projects will produce insights leading to more widespread adoption of large-scale battery storage to benefit electrical delivery systems and customers. The projects support the state's Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.
"Battery storage technology is advancing quickly and can provide us with another tool to keep our service reliable on the days our customers need it the most," said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison's vice president, Distributed Resource Integration. "Battery storage can also help us defer making upgrades to our infrastructure, saving our customers money."
Con Edison has formed a partnership with NRG Energy, which owns almost 50,000 megawatts of generation capacity across the United States, to develop and build the units at NRG's generating station in Astoria, Queens. Storage on Demand will consist of two mobile battery trailers and one mobile electrical switchgear trailer.
When Con Edison and its customers do not need the batteries, the units will be stored at the generating station and the partners will sell peak-shaving, contingency support and other services into the New York Independent System Operator wholesale market.
While Con Edison plans on deploying the units during the summer, the batteries will also be available at other times of the year when an electrical network needs short-term support.
In its other storage demonstration project, filed in January, Con Edison will work with microgrid developer GI Energy to place "front-of-the-meter," 1 megawatt/1 megawatt hour batteries at the properties of four customers. Con Edison will make quarterly lease payments to those customers.
The company would charge the batteries during off-peak times and discharge them during peak times to support Con Edison's system or in wholesale markets.
One site will also include an Urban Electric Power 200 kilowatt/400 kilowatt hour zinc manganese dioxide battery system that may provide increased flexibility at indoor battery sites.
That project, if successful, would provide an alternative to more traditional "behind-the-meter" batteries. Those batteries are owned by customers who store power in the units and then use that power to reduce their peak demand.
But those batteries make economic sense for only a small number of commercial customers -- those who pay demand charges and have highly fluctuating needs for power.
New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision program, or REV, encourages energy companies to use new technology to provide reliable, resilient service and to offer customers more access to products and services like energy efficiency, smart usage programs and renewables.