New York Power Authority plans to replace peaking power plants with battery storage systems

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has begun retrofitting a fossil-fuel peaking power plant in its service area, co-locating a battery energy storage system that will replace the power plant.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA), which serves a quarter of New York State’s electrical load, has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) for the deployment of four-hour-duration power plants at some of the sector’s fossil fuel peaking power plants. battery energy storage system.

This Request for Proposals (RfP) is part of the ongoing advancement of the clean energy goals outlined by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in its long-term strategic plan. The agency wants to provide zero-carbon electricity service to all customers by 2035, for example five years ahead of New York State's goal of achieving a zero-emissions power sector.

May 12, 2022

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) also said many of the peaking power plants are located in disadvantaged communities in the state. Ahead of the release of the VISION 2030 strategic plan, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) began working with the PEAK coalition, a coalition of clean energy and environmental justice organizations, in October 2020 to understand its six natural gas peakers with a combined installed capacity of approximately 400MW. How plants can transition to cleaner options while these power plants provide electricity to meet energy demands during periods of peak demand for electricity.

The six outgoing natural gas peaking power plants in New York State all opened in 2001 and were called Small Clean Power Plants (SCPPs), perhaps an ironic name. While these natural gas peaking power plants do not operate for long periods of time each year, they can have a significant impact on air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels.

The land and power infrastructure of these peaking power plants can be used to co-locate energy storage systems that can do the same job as peaking power plants without adding more environmental and economic costs.

Justin E. Driscoll, interim president and CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), said, "To achieve New York's clean energy goals, we need a multi-pronged approach that includes creative solutions such as battery energy storage and a Innovative transformation of infrastructure to meet future energy needs in a cleaner way.”

New York state has also set a goal of deploying 6GW of energy storage by 2030, much of which the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and other state utilities need to provide, he said.

Energy & Environmental Economics and General Electric (GE) have released a study commissioned by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in consultation with the PEAK Alliance and clean energy consulting group Strategen.

The study found that by 2030, it would be technically and economically feasible to replace peaking power plants with renewable energy generation facilities and four-hour battery storage systems. This will be made possible by a convergence trend in renewable energy generation in New York, technological improvements, and the falling cost of battery storage systems.

Just three years ago, this was not the case, because while most peak power plants only operate 10% of the year, there are a few days (mostly during summer peaks) when natural gas plants will be at full load continuously Run for 8 hours or more.

In connection with New York State's Clean Energy Standard requiring 70% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, the frequency and duration of natural gas generation will help fill the gap.

"As New York State advances offshore wind, solar and transmission projects that will provide New York City with more clean energy, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is encouraged by the modeling and projections in this collaborative study," Driscoll said. This shows that we may be able to accelerate the transition to clean energy, provided we can continue to ensure the stable operation of New York City's reliable and resilient power system."

The Request for Proposals (RfP) issued by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is currently tentative as the agency hopes to assess response options and develop a strategic roadmap on how to adjust Small Clean Power Plants (SCPP), which will be launched this year Released at the end of the year.

Its bid deadline is May 24, 2022, and the winning bidder will be announced in early July. More details can be found on the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Procurement website.

Natural gas peaking plants represent only a small fraction of New York State's peaking plants, but the Small Clean Power Plant (SCPP) adaptation process could be an important start for the New York Power Authority (NYPA). About 75% of NYPA's load is served by hydroelectric plants, so immediate action is needed to decarbonize the remaining 25%.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) also owns land at the state's most polluting power plant, the 885MW Charles Poletti power plant, which ran on natural gas and oil, and closed in 2010. A 100MW/400MWh battery energy storage system is being deployed on its site.

Energy developer 174 Power Global received deployment approval for the project in July 2021, with land leased by the New York Power Authority (NYPA). In an interview with industry media last year, New York Power Authority (NYPA) Chief Commercial Officer Sarah Orban Salati discussed the project and a range of other initiatives and options in the clean energy transition.

A study commissioned by the PEAK Alliance and authored by Strategen, published in March 2021, found that a combination of renewables, energy efficiency and energy storage could replace the retirement of New York City's 6GW of peaking power plants.

Some of these peaking power plants use more polluting fuels such as heavy fuel oil and kerosene. And peaking power plants contribute nearly all (97 percent) of nitrous oxide emissions in New York State, which has spent about $4.5 billion over the past decade to operate those plants.

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