New York Moves Forward On Bold Energy Storage Goals

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved two initiatives to dramatically increase New York’s energy efficiency and energy storage targets.

The new energy efficiency target for investor-owned utilities will more than double utility energy efficiency progress by 2025, reducing the state’s energy consumption by the equivalent of fueling and powering 1.8 million homes. The energy storage initiative sets New York on a trajectory to achieve 1.5 GW of storage by 2025, enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes, and up to 3 GW by 2030.

These targets were first announced as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State clean energy agenda.

“As the federal government continues to ignore the real and imminent dangers of climate change, New York is aggressively pursuing clean energy alternatives to protect our environment and conserve resources,” Cuomo says. “These unprecedented energy efficiency and energy storage targets will set a standard for the rest of the nation to follow while supporting and creating jobs in these cutting-edge renewable industries.”

In June, Cuomo announced the state’s plan to jump-start the development of energy storage in New York, calling for the deployment of 1.5 GW by 2025.

To achieve the governor’s goal, the PSC has now adopted a comprehensive strategy to address barriers that have been impeding energy storage technologies from competing in the energy marketplace. These actions are intended to accelerate the market learning curve, drive down costs, and speed the deployment of the highest-value energy storage projects for maximum benefit to New Yorkers and the electric grid.

In addition to the 2025 goal, the PSC is adopting a secondary energy storage deployment goal of 3 GW by 2030, which was called for pursuant to legislation signed into law last year by Cuomo.

To further stimulate energy storage deployment across the state and spur private-sector investment, earlier this week, New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced it would invest $250 million over the next five years to accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid to give New Yorkers greater access to renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar.

The new PSC order also authorizes a $310 million market acceleration bridge incentive – to be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) – in addition to $40 million announced in November for pairing storage with solar PV projects, and directs NYSERDA to file a market acceleration bridge incentive implementation plan.

The order also directs the state’s six major electric utilities to hold competitive procurements for 350 MW of bulk-sited energy storage systems.

“Under Governor Cuomo, New York is not waiting to address the challenge of global climate change – instead, we are taking bold and immediate action today,” says Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “[These] decisions by the PSC solidify the role of energy efficiency and of energy storage each as an important foundation of the state’s transition to a clean energy-powered future and will allow those resources to deliver on their potential – including a more reliable system than the one we have today, billions of dollars in cost-savings for consumers, and the creation of thousands of new, good clean energy jobs for New Yorkers.”

The PSC says these decisions are the result of extensive public outreach, numerous public hearings, regional forums, active stakeholder engagement and public comment review.

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