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NYPA Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage Project is Now Operating

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Aug. 25 announced that New York’s first state-owned utility-scale battery energy storage project is now operating in Franklin County, N.Y. The 20-megawatt facility was installed and is operated by the New York Power Authority.

The facility will connect into the state’s electric grid, helping to relieve transmission congestion “and pave the way for the utility industry and the private sector to better understand how to integrate more clean energy into the power system, especially during times of peak demand,” NYPA said.

The Northern New York Energy Storage Project also will help accelerate the state’s aggressive target to install 6,000 MW of energy storage by 2030, NYPA said. 

The project, located in Chateaugay, about 40 miles northwest of Plattsburgh, is the Power Authority’s first utility-scale battery project and the first one built by New York State. 

The facility, maintained and operated by NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, consists of five 53-foot walk-in enclosures, each with more than 19,500 batteries grouped in modules and stacked in racks. Each container pulls in and can disperse 4 MW of power.  

The Northern New York Energy Storage Project is strategically located in a region that generates more than 80 percent of its electricity supply from renewable resources, including the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, which generates more than 800 MW of hydropower, and more than 650 MW of wind generation.

“This is a first-of-its-kind project for the Power Authority and with it we are breaking new ground as we actively help lead New York State’s decarbonization efforts,” said NYPA President and CEO Justin Driscoll.

“By demonstrating large-scale battery development and operation, we are showing our ability to execute forward-thinking strategies and new technologies. The Northern New York Energy Storage Project will help New York achieve its aggressive climate goals and ensure that 70 percent of the state's electricity supply comes from renewables by 2030.This project is a reliability and resiliency energy storage trendsetter that will be a model for others to follow,” he said.  

The system also includes inverters, transformers, a control house, and back-up generator, all connected to the Willis substation, located north of the project.

The project, which provides 20 MW of power utilizing a lithium-ion battery system, was constructed by O’Connell Electric Company, Inc., of Victor, N.Y. 

NYPA’s engineers were involved with the planning, development and permitting of the project and the project team met with local fire departments for training on the battery storage technology used at the facility. 

NYPA’s engineers have ensured that the Northern New York Energy Storage Project met all fire safety and permitting requirements, it said.

NYPA is also testing other types of battery technology, such as advanced lithium-ion and zinc-air technologies, that demonstrate a reduction in the potential for thermal runaway, the most common cause of energy storage fires.  

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