New York ramps up DER and storage projects

The state is building a DER platform and investing in storage to meet ambitious clean energy and emission reduction goals.
Published: Mon 08 Jul 2019

New York has selected Trove Predictive Data Science to build a pilot data platform to track distributed energy resources (DER) in partnership with utility Orange and Rockland Utilities by the end of the year.

The programme will collect and store various types of customer and electric system data, including average load, peak times, number and type of electric vehicles and type and size of installed DER, such as solar PV, anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power, storage and fuel cells.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) already runs a DER database, but it was not considered to have adequate operating functions to meet new requirements called for by the state’s ambitious clean energy targets. Trove will host pilot platform testing and workshops in November.

The project stems from an energy storage deployment order issued by the Public Service Commission in December 2018.


New York is providing incentives for storage projects as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Green New Deal, to meet ambitious targets of 3GW of energy storage by 2030 and a zero-carbon electricity sector by 2040. The state’s 2018 Energy Storage Roadmap set a goal of deploying 1.5GW of storage capacity by 2025. 

Governor Cuomo announced $55 million for energy storage including commercial and residential storage projects on Long Island last week. An initial $15 million in incentives will come from NYSERDA. NYSERDA’s Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program offers $250/kWh for grid-connected energy storage systems up to 5MW and for the first block of residential solar-plus-energy storage projects operating during peak demand, then declining to $200/kWh in the second block.

These incentives are part of a $400 million investment package for the state as a whole. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates some of the Governor's ambitious clean energy targets such as installing 9GW of offshore wind by 2035; 6GW of distributed solar by 2025. The CLCPA also calls for a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state.

Regulator the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) has identified 275MW of peaking plants that could be replaced with six-hour energy storage, or more than 500MW with eight-hour storage. Gas-fired peaking plants will have to comply with tougher NOX emission limits, and storage could help bring 864MW into compliance with the new daily standard, according to a report issued on 1st July.

The targets envisioned by policymakers are unprecedented, said transmission system operator the New York ISO in its Power Trends 2019 report released earlier this year. NYISO has a number of initiatives to achieve the goals while maintaining reliability, which will become more challenging as gas-fired peakers and nuclear units close. NYISO will examine the potential impact on system reliability in its upcoming 2020 Reliability Needs Assessment. NYISO is also proposing a carbon price of $50/ton.

US grid operators are developing tariffs to allow energy storage to participate in their energy markets to comply with national regulator the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order 841.

The subject of revenue stacking, where resources can access several market opportunities at the same time, is resulting in some complicated debates in the US. Stacking does not fit into the current structures of transaction and capacity allocation, as well as conflicting priorities of generators, energy retailers, distribution network providers, and system operators, says Jacqueline Piero, director of policy at Nuvve consultants. The transmission system and wholesale markets come under FERC’s jurisdiction, while distribution and retail rates, wires, movement of energy comes under state jurisdiction. It is difficult to stack across the jurisdictional boundary because both entities make primacy claims when it comes to reliability and resource adequacy.

Nevertheless, energy storage deployment was up 232% in Q1 of 2019 year-on-year with a gain of 148.8MW, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest US Energy Storage Monitor. California, Arizona, New Jersey and New York saw the highest growth rates.