The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced the completion of Key Capture Energy’s system, the largest battery installation in New York. The 20 megawatt (MW) energy storage system will enhance power grid performance reliability and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It supports Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, which mandates New York’s energy storage target of 3,000 MW by 2030, the largest target in the country.
“[The project] will enhance our electric system and demonstrate the value of large-scale energy storage systems that will accelerate our ability to meet the state’s commitment to a carbon-free electric system by 2040,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, in the press release.
Key Capture Energy’s project, coined KCE NY1, is located in the capital region and is the first project since the company’s relocation from Houston to Albany, NY in partnership with the University at Albany and the state’s START-UP NY program, administered by Empire State Development. Since the partnership, Key Capture Energy has more than doubled its staff size, including employees from University at Albany, and is giving extra consideration to New York State-based supplier and service companies.
Energy storage enhances the efficiency of the electric grid by capturing excess power and storing that excess power in industrial-sized batteries for later use. KCE NY1 will help balance electric load and generation by storing and discharging power based upon the changing needs of the grid. In doing so, the battery is providing similar services to the electric transmission system as those provided by certain fossil fuel power plants and will thereby help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Key Capture Energy system is the first to be completed since Cuomo announced the state’s Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Program in April, which included $150 million for bulk storage projects, systems over 5MW that primarily provide wholesales market energy or distribution service. Key Capture Energy was awarded $1.3 million from NYSERDA under this program for its project.
“We are so pleased to have been selected as the first bulk storage incentive program award recipient and applaud the state’s programs that support innovative energy solutions, while benefiting the state’s economy and environment,” said Dan Fitzgerald, co-founder and chief operations officer of Key Capture Energy, in the press release. “We look forward to being a part of the next generation of New York State’s electric grid.”
The incentive program also provides $149 million for retail storage projects – customer or distribution utility-sized systems below 5 MW, which are smaller and installed alone or paired with onsite generation such as solar. The funds are part of an overall $400 million investment in energy storage to accelerate growth within the industry and drive down energy storage deployment costs to build a sustainable and affordable market. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) complemented the initiative last December with $250 million to help accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid by collaborating on grid-scale energy storage projects and addressing market and financing barriers.
These initiatives under Cuomo are expected to deliver more than $3 billion in benefits to New Yorkers and avoid two million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.