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NY regulators approve state's largest battery storage project

The New York Public Service Commission approved the development of a 316-MW battery storage facility at the site of the Ravenswood power plant complex in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y.

Helix Generation LLC, a subsidiary of LS Power Group, filed a request for a certificate of public convenience with the commission Feb. 21 to develop the battery storage facility to help cater to peak hours. Once completed, the facility will be able to supply power equal to the demand of 250,000 households over eight hours, the PSC said in a news release Oct. 17.

The Ravenswood site has three power plants: a three-unit, 1,717.2-MW oil- and gas-fired facility that has been operating since the first part of the 1960s; 341.1 MW of combustion turbines that have been operating since the late 1960s; and 276.9 MW of combined-cycle generators that began operating in 2004. The storage facility would be on about seven acres in the northeastern portion of the 27-acre plant site, according to the PSC's order.

Some of the gas-fired peaker units are not in service and would be demolished, according to the order. The storage project would essentially replace the capacity of these peakers, though it would operate independently of the other Ravenswood units.

The storage project, using lithium-ion batteries, will be completed in three phases, according to the order. The first phase will house up to 129 MW of energy storage capacity and would begin commercial operations in March 2021. The second phase totals up to 98 MW of energy storage capacity and the third is 89 MW of storage capacity. Construction timelines for the second and third phases have not yet been determined.

"The storage facility, Ravenswood Development asserts, would reduce the need for additional generation during peak demand periods," the order said. "The batteries could also provide ancillary services to the grid including, for instance, reserves, regulation and voltage support."

"When complete, this facility will displace energy produced from fossil plants during peak periods, resulting in cleaner air and reduced carbon emissions," PSC Chair John Rhodes said in a news release.

In the order, the PSC noted that the state has set a policy to promote the development of 1,500 MW of energy storage capacity by 2025 and 3,000 MW by 2030. The commission has also directed New York utilities to solicit for energy storage resources. New York City-area utility Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. will have to procure at least 300 MW of storage capacity, and Ravenswood Development, the Helix Generation entity proposing the storage facility, intends to respond to any Con Edison solicitation for storage resources. Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc. (New York PSC Case 19-E-0122)