Energy Storage

New York City sets energy storage deployment target of 100 MWh by 2020

New York City, which is seeing a boom in solar energy deployment, has set an energy storage deployment target of 100 megawatt- hours by 2020, the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Sept. 23 news release.

The mayor said in the news release that solar capacity in the city has nearly quadrupled since the start of his administration, and will provide 96 MW, compared to 25 MW at the beginning of the de Blasio administration.

The New York City Department of Buildings will issue permits for more than 3,000 solar panel installations this year alone, and that will bring the citywide total to more than 8,000 installations in 2016. That is an increase from 1,819 installations at the start of the administration.

According to the news release, this solar growth puts the city on track to meet goals of installing 100 MW of solar power on public buildings and spurring the installation of 250 MW on private buildings by 2025.

Because of the role these targets play in catalyzing the city's solar market, de Blasio announced an expansion of a commitment to identify and remove barriers to solar adoption in order to facilitate over 1,000 MW of citywide solar capacity by 2030.

In order to ensure this renewable energy is available consistently, the mayor also committed to the city's first ever energy storage deployment target of 100 MWh by 2020.

"This target will help reduce reliance on the grid by making variable sources of energy production, such as solar panels, usable for more of the day," the news release said.

Energy storage also helps increase the city's resiliency by providing backup energy when the grid is offline, the mayor's office noted.

Microgrid demonstration project in Brooklyn

Along with solar energy and energy storage, New York City is also seeing the development of microgrids.

For example, LO3 Energy is working on a microgrid demonstration project in Brooklyn in two communities, Gowanus and Park Slope.

Earlier this year, Lawrence Orsini, founder and principal at LO3 Energy, said that the purpose of the effort is two-fold. "The first one is an actual physical microgrid that at some point will separate from the utility grid in a time of need and provide for the resilient power for a section of the utility grid there," Orsini said.

"The broader part of it is a virtual microgrid," he said. A virtual microgrid "is really a community and so what we're focused on is building community microgrids."