- A new study commissioned by the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) concludes the largest city in the United States has a near-term opportunity to clean up its electric grid by replacing older steam generation units with batteries.
- The analysis, conducted by Strategen Consulting, finds that about 2,860 MW of older steam and combustion turbines, roughly 30% of New York City's current fleet, will be past retirement age within the next five years.
- Replacing older combustion generation with energy storage could help the city meet environmental goals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75% from those units.
New York City has ambitious energy goals, including a goal of installing 100 MWh of storage by 2020 and reducing emissions 80% by 2050. While the city has faced some difficulties in deploying batteries, in part due to fire codes and other regulations, the new NY-BEST analysis shows the potential impact is significant.
"There are increasing questions about how we can best ensure the reliability of the electricity grid while reducing our reliance on fossil-fuel generation," NY-BEST Executive Director William Acker said in a statement. "This study illustrates that replacing these older peaking plants with energy storage presents a cost-effective strategy for reducing harmful air emissions, protecting public health and maintaining grid reliability."
Strategen's report concludes New York City electricity customers spend more than $268 million annually to secure capacity from older plants that run for just a few hours each year. A 5% set-aside of that amount "could attract investment in more than 450 MW of new energy storage resources over the next five years with very little impact," the firm concluded. Total price impact could be less than 1% to customers, Strategen found.
"Over 50% of New York City’s electricity related greenhouse gas emissions likely resulted from fossil power plants located in the city,” according to the report. “For New York to achieve its climate goals, it will need to increase utilization of renewable energy in place of fossil fuels."