The largest battery system in New York City has been deployed into service by Con Edison, improving the area’s energy storage solutions and enhancing energy resilience.
The system is located at a substation in the Fox Hills area of Staten Island and holds 7.5 megawatts that can discharge electricity to customers for four hours.
Battery storage is an important component of energy storage, complementing renewable power from wind turbines and solar panels. Batteries can store power from these sources that customers might not need right away and discharge that power when demand exceeds the production of the intermittent renewable generators, according to Con Edison.
“The system, which is rated at 7 megawatts, 30-megawatt hours, will hold enough electricity to charge 1.5 million cellphones,” Con Edison said in its announcement.
The system is arriving just as the summer heat season is ramping up, when energy demands can be higher. The company will charge the system at night when electricity costs and demands are lower.
“We are deploying batteries to help maintain the industry-leading reliable electric service that our region needs and our customers deserve,” said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison’s president. “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.”
The news comes a few weeks after Con Edison announced its $2.4 billion investment in its electric delivery system to keep service reliable ahead of the summer heat. Con Edison announced the NYC battery energy storage system during a panel discussion at the Solar and Storage Summit at John Jay College in Manhattan, an annual event attended by hundreds of clean energy professionals from the public and private sectors. This system includes 11 Tesla Megapacks, each a container that houses 19 battery modules with its own inverter.
The battery storage aligns with the state of New York’s climate change objectives, including the goal for 70% of the state’s power to come from renewable sources by 2030 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
In addition to storing energy, Con Edison will sell services from the system into the state’s wholesale energy market, generating revenue that will benefit customers. The installation, engineering, and procurement of the entire system were supported by Con Edison’s internal resources, and the system’s placement on utility property prevented Con Edison from needing to obtain additional land.
Con Edison already has a battery system in the Ozone Park section of Queens that can hold 2 MW and discharge 10 MWh of power. The system serves as a backup to an existing distribution feeder and has been in operation since 2019. Plus, Con Edison and a business partner have placed three smaller systems at customer properties on the North Shore of Staten Island, in Woodside, Queens, and on City Island, where the customers receive lease payments. The company is also planning a microgrid at a substation on Cedar Street in New Rochelle “that will include a 4 MW 12 MWh storage system” and direct-current fast chargers for electric vehicles.
Con Edison Biodiversity Project
Con Edison will also conduct a biodiversity project on the property in line with its Strategic Action Plan on Biodiversity. Con Edison has more than 4,000 acres of transmission line right-of-ways under its belt and is the second-largest owner of waterfront property in New York City. All the environments within its operations can be impacted by biodiversity loss, which is why the company has been exploring ways to preserve biodiversity and enhance the natural capital both on company property and throughout its operations.
The company will “seed an area of land that was torn up from the storage project” and create a native habitat with milkweed and other plant life to attract monarch butterflies and pollinators and provide stormwater capture, Con Edison said.
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