- New York state is nearly halfway done hitting its interim target of 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025, with 706 MW in storage projects already deployed or having received power contracts, the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) announced in its first annual "State of Storage" report released April 1.
- A potential wrinkle, however, is that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to delays for several New York utilities in their bidding processes to procure more energy storage, as revealed by documents filed with the department around the same time as the report. These utilities include National Grid’s subsidiary Niagara Mohawk Power, Avangrid subsidiaries New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
- The state’s 2018 order also set a goal of 3,000 MW of storage by 2030, one of the most ambitious energy storage targets yet announced. New York has achieved 24% of that goal to date.
As a result of the 2018 order, New York City utility Consolidated Edison must procure 300 MW of energy storage and the other New York investor-owned utilities must each procure at least 10 MW. The state also said those storage projects must be operational by the end of 2022.
But in recent filings with the DPS, National Grid, NYSEG, RG&E and Central Hudson each reported that the date for awarding storage projects from the utilities’ requests for proposals will be delayed to May 15 due to "challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic." Previously, the utilities had said winning bidders would be notified by April 15, and that service agreements would be executed between April and October.
The December 2022 operational date for the storage projects is not subject to delay, a DPS spokesman told Utility Dive. The delays related to the pandemic were caused by the New York utilities redirecting their resources, he said.
A spokesman for NYSEG also said that the December 2022 date is still on. “Our company, with coordination and the approval of DPS staff, submitted a request to extend the RFP award date out of concern that the human resources needed to review and assess the various bidder proposals were needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic event," he told Utility Dive. "At this time, there has been no discussion of delaying the in-serve dates for these projects."
ConEd conducted its RFP in 2019 and is currently negotiating contracts with winners, according to a ConEd spokeswoman. "It is still our goal to sign contracts with the finalists in Q2 and to announce awards at that time," she told Utility Dive. "We were fortunate to complete the RFP evaluation in December, and start development before the spread of the virus."
There are about 9,779 MW of proposed energy storage projects sitting in the queue of power facilities requesting to connect to the grid. "An indeterminate number of these projects may never be built, however, due to the expense of interconnection, permitting, financing, or for other reasons," according to the State of Storage report.
The report cited a recent survey of storage developers by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), which found that only about 47% of prospective projects at the distribution grid level and only about 25% at the onsite, behind-the-meter level are likely to be built.
NYSERDA has a Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive program that offers financial incentives to wholesale storage projects larger than 5 MW, commercial retail storage projects up to 5 MW and single-family residential storage plus solar PV systems installed on Long Island. Of the 706 MW of New York storage projects already completed or having struck contracts, 536 MW were approved for funding under the Bridge Incentive program, according to the State of Storage report.