Energy Storage

Energy Storage Projects in New York and Texas Get Boost

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Sept. 8 that $16.6 million had been awarded to five long-duration energy storage projects in her state. She also said an additional $17 million in competitive funding was available for projects that “advance development and demonstration of scalable innovative long-duration energy storage technologies, including hydrogen.”

Meanwhile, Qcells USA Corp. announced its closing of a $150 million corporate revolver to support in part its construction of the Cunningham Energy Storage Project in Texas, as well as other projects in its 13-GW pipeline. The Cunningham Energy Storage Project—a 190-MW/380-MWh energy storage facility—will be the largest project in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market once operational, which is expected later this year. Qcells acquired the project from Belltown Power Texas LLC on Nov. 10, 2021. The project is located in Hunt County, Texas, and will connect to the Rayburn County Electric Cooperative Inc. grid.

In New York, the awards and new funding were made available through the Renewable Optimization and Energy Storage Innovation Program administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The awards and funding “will advance renewable energy integration and reduce harmful emissions from reliance on fossil fuels,” NYSERDA said.

The projects receiving awards in New York are utilizing a variety of energy storage technologies. The companies receiving the funding and the projects they’re working on are the following:

  • Borrego Solar Systems Inc. received $2.7 million to develop, design, and construct two standalone energy storage systems, and perform field demonstrations of a six-hour zinc hybrid cathode energy storage system in New York City to help demonstrate that zinc hybrid technology is economically competitive with lithium-ion.
  • JC Solutions LLC, doing business as RCAM Technologies, received $1.2 million to develop a 3D concrete printed marine pumped hydroelectric storage system that integrates directly with offshore wind development in support of grid resiliency and reduced reliance on fossil fuel plants to meet periods of peak electric demand.
  • Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station LLC received $12.5 million to demonstrate nuclear-hydrogen fueled peak power generation paired with a long-duration hydrogen energy storage unit to help reduce emissions from the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) electric grid.
  • Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) received $100,000 to develop a reversible fuel cell system for hydrogen production and energy storage, which it calls the “Clean Energy Bridge,” and to help facilitate the system’s readiness for demonstration and commercial adoption.
  • ROCCERA LLC received $100,000 to evaluate and demonstrate a novel commercially viable solid oxide electrolyzer cell prototype for clean hydrogen production together with a corresponding scalable, more efficient manufacturing process.

“The technologies and processes being advanced through these projects are representative of Governor Hochul’s commitment to supporting innovation that fosters product development and solutions that aid our clean energy transition. This type of funding support is critical to ensuring that stored renewable energy from solar or wind is available for long periods of time and can be utilized to ensure a reliable grid of the future,” Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA and co-chair of the state’s Climate Action Council, said in a statement.

Last week, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced that he had appealed directly to Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. for the company to bring its inaugural commercial production facility to Ulster County. Zinc8, which is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has announced that it will build its first facility in the U.S., but it didn’t commit to a site in a press release issued by the company. Zinc8 did, however, state that the support of Sen. Schumer would play a major role in its decision of where to locate the facility.

Schumer, meanwhile, said Zinc8 had officially signed a letter of intent to make Ulster County’s former TechCity campus, now known as iPark87, the home of its first major manufacturing hub. “Zinc8 is the jolt of electricity the Hudson Valley needs, and is proof positive that when you invest in fighting climate change you are investing in creating good-paying jobs, new economic growth, and a brighter future for our communities,” Schumer said in a statement.

Zinc8 makes a zinc-air battery that can store and discharge energy durations from 4 hours to 100 hours. Higher capacities are achieved by increasing the size of storage tanks that hold zinc particles. NYSERDA plans to try the technology at a New York City housing complex where a 100-kW/1.5-MWh zinc battery energy storage system will be joined with onsite combined heat and power generation.

Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).

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