October 18, 2019 Read More →

Regulators approve massive battery storage project to replace peaking power units in New York City

New York Daily News:

They make cell phone batteries, car batteries, and AAA batteries. And then there’s the giant battery set the state OK’d Thursday for construction in Queens — a 316-megawatt behemoth that will hold enough electricity to power 250,000 homes for eight hours.

The batteries planned for the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City will replace up to 16 natural gas-fired turbines at the sprawling plant, which supplies about a fifth of New York City’s power. It will be partly operational in March 2021, the state Public Service Commission said.

Generators will charge the batteries when electricity demand is low. The batteries will send power out to the grid as needed, the PSC says. The idea is to cut the need for fossil-fueled peak generators, which are turned on when electricity demand is highest — such as hot summer days when New Yorkers crank up the air conditioning.

 “This facility will displace energy produced from fossil plants during peak periods, resulting in cleaner air and reduced carbon emissions,” said PSC chairman John Rhodes.

In 2014, good-government group Environment New York Research and Policy Center ranked the Ravenswood Generating Station as the state’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter. The facility generates electricity by burning more than 3 million gallons of oil per year. By converting some of the station’s real estate into a battery storage facility, officials will be able to better store and distribute electricity produced by zero-emissions energy sources like wind and solar, according to an environmental impact study for the project.

Gov. Cuomo in 2018 announced a plan to increase the state’s energy storage capacity to 1,500 megawatts by 2025. The battery facility in Long Island City will store up to 316 megawatts.

More: Giant electric battery set will curb Ravenswood plant pollution in Queens, state says

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