Con Edison President Matthew Ketschke reported that his company will place the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in New York City in service just in time to help meet summer electricity demand peaks. The installation is a 7.5-MW/30-MWh system located at a substation in the Fox Hills area of Staten Island, New York (Figure 1). The company expects the new BESS to be in service by the end of June.
“We are deploying batteries to help maintain the industry-leading reliable electric service that our region needs, and our customers deserve,” Ketschke said during a panel discussion at the 2023 NYC Solar + Storage Summit held June 20 at John Jay College in Manhattan. “The advent of large-scale energy storage technology also greatly increases our opportunities to integrate clean, renewable power into the mix and transition to a low-carbon future.”
New York state has ambitious energy storage goals of 1,500 MW by 2025 and 6,000 MW by 2030 through a variety of efforts. Con Edison commissioned its first utility-owned storage project in 2018—a 2-MW/12-MWh lithium-iron phosphate battery in Ozone Park, Queens. In an effort to increase the company’s storage capacity, it issued a Bulk Energy Storage Scheduling and Dispatch Rights request for proposal (RFP) in December last year. The RFP was intended to meet the requirements of a New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) order for all New York utilities to procure at least 10 MW of energy storage and for Con Edison, specifically, to procure at least 300 MW of energy storage. Per the NYPSC directive, projects must be operational by Dec. 31, 2025, but the joint utilities have filed a petition to extend the deadline for project operation to Dec. 31, 2028.
Con Edison has said it is working to promote the efficient operation of 1,000 MW of energy storage in the New York metropolitan region by 2030. The company reported there were 493 customer-owned BESSs installed in New York City and Westchester, a county north of the city, as of March 2023. The total capacity of those systems was about 25 MW.
Con Edison’s new BESS in the Fox Hills area is expected to take stress off of the company’s electric delivery system when the demand for power is high in northeastern Staten Island, which occurs in the late afternoon and evening hours during the summer. The system includes 11 Tesla Megapacks. Each megapack is a container that houses 19 battery modules, each with its own inverter. The system reportedly underwent “a rigorous safety review by the Fire Department of New York.”
The company plans to charge the battery system at night when the demand for power is lower and electricity is less expensive. In addition to using the system to support reliability, Con Edison will sell services from the system into the state’s wholesale energy market.
Placing the system on utility property saved the company from having to obtain additional land and minimized neighborhood inconvenience, Con Edison said. Additionally, the company is conducting a biodiversity project to make full use of the property and to be consistent with its dedication to the environment. Con Edison has a biodiversity strategic action plan and has started rewilding initiatives at its Eastview Service Center and Rye Service Center. The company will seed an area of land that was torn up from the storage project and will create native habitat with milkweed and other plant life to attract monarch butterflies and pollinators, and provide stormwater capture.
—Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).