CHATEAUGAY — A 20-megawatt battery storage demonstration facility will be established next to an existing electricity transmission substation in Chateaugay, following a vote Tuesday by the Board of Directors of the New York Power Authority authorizing $22.6 million for the project.
NYPA had approved $6 million for the project in April, and Tuesday’s vote authorized funding for the entire estimated cost of the project.
The project will include a one-hour lithium-ion battery system that will absorb excess energy generated by renewable energy systems for later delivery.
The decision to locate the project in Northern New York was driven in part by the amount of renewable energy created in the region, according to a NYPA release. More than 80 percent of the region’s electricity supply comes from renewable resources, including NYPA’s St. Lawrence hydropower project and more than 650 MW of wind generation.
The town of Chateaugay currently hosts two commercial wind farms — Noble Chateaugay and a portion of the Jericho Rise Wind farm, which extends into neighboring Bellmont. The town is also listed as a potential site for EDP Renewables’ planned 200-megawatt North Slope wind project, which would also be in part in Clinton County, and developer RES is considering a project in the northern portion of the town. Invenergy Wind Development is also planning the 303.6 MW Bull Run Wind project in the Churubusco area of Clinton County, immediately adjacent to Chateaugay.
Having the capability to store renewable energy for later delivery will help eliminate current transmission constraints that can prevent the energy from being delivered downstate, the release said.
The authority’s purchase of the property for the battery facility is currently in negotiations and is expected to be finalized prior to the start of construction in October, with operation anticipated by June.
The energy storage system will supply the New York wholesale energy and ancillary service markets.
The facility will be the authority’s first large-scale energy storage project. It is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s renewable energy and energy storage mandates recently signed into law in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
The NYPA board also awarded the contract to design, build and commission the project to O’Connell Electric Company, Inc., of Victor, in Ontario County. The award was won through a process of competitive bidding.
“This is a great opportunity for NYPA to demonstrate a utility-scale battery project and encourage energy storage adoption throughout the state,” said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice chairman and Massena resident to the NYPA. “Energy storage is vital to the growth of renewable energy. This facility will promote economic development in the North Country, help resolve transmission constraints, and bring New York State closer to its energy storage targets.”
“Energy storage is paramount as we bring more renewable energy online,“ Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA CEO and president, said. “To meet Governor Cuomo’s aggressive clean energy targets, we need to be able to store energy in large-scale batteries so it can be used at times of demand. This North Country battery storage project will guide us as we model additional storage facilities after it in the near future.”
The area’s two representatives in the state Legislature also voiced strong support for the project.
“The New York’s Power Authority’s investment in a battery storage project in Chateaugay will not only put us on the forefront of harnessing renewable energy, it will power our economy, spurring economic growth and making it easier for people to find good jobs close to home, said Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay. “It’s an important investment in our state’s clean energy future, one that will not only benefit Northern Franklin County families but also people from across our state.”
State Sen. Elizabeth “Betty” Little, R-Queensbury, said, “Northern New York has a proven track record as a leader in the development and support of renewable energy projects. The battery storage project is a very important investment in clean energy technology that will promote economic development while enhancing New York’s renewable energy goals.”
Chateaugay Town Supervisor Donald Bilow said he too was happy about the project.
“I am pleased to see the development of a battery storage project to support clean energy use in Northern New York,” Bilow said. “This is an exciting opportunity to welcome new technology that will also benefit the state’s energy goals.”
NYPA is largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit; it finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.
Cuomo’s Green New Deal has a target of installing 3000 MW of Energy Storage in NYS by 2030 — equivalent to enough electricity to serve approximately 24,000 to 300,000 average sized homes. Cuomo also aims to reduce the state’s carbon footprint to zero by 2040 and ensure that 70 percent of the state’s electricity supply comes from renewables by 2030.