New York to get one of its largest rooftop solar power plants, and largest battery

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The Empire State is singing the renewable energy tune these days. If it isn’t a gigawatt battery factory, then it is a batch of large solar projects, or its massive offshore wind farms, and 1.5 GW of energy storage by 2025. With these announcements the state is predicting a doubling of its 2017 installed solar power capacity in 2018, and forecasts falling electricity demand decades out due to more behind-the-meter solar.

Now, some of that work is coming to fruition. EnterSolar, a New York City-based developer that focuses on commercial rooftops, has begun construction of a 2.4 MW-DC rooftop community solar power plant for Continental Building Products. The current largest rooftop solar plant in New York is a 2.5 MW-DC project built by Safari Energy in West Nyack at the end of 2015.

The building material manufacturer uses 99% recycled material in all its drywall products.

Steve Burns, senior project manager on this site, and EnterSolar’s Director of Project Management, said two things stuck out with this project. First, was heavy work over the last 8 to 12 months with the utility – ConEd – to define the capacity of electric circuits from the grid to the structure. The second, was that the solar panels are laid out over five unique roofs – utilizing three types of racking materials, necessitating strategically placed inverters to minimize line runs and voltage loss.

EnterSolar construction underway

Steve also noted that, from the roof of the project, Indian Point Nuclear facility is visible. The plant is currently scheduled to cease delivering electricity in 2021.

New York State recently increased the 2.0 MW-AC max size for community solar to, 5.0 MW-AC. This project would have fit under the prior cap.

Meanwhile, Key Capture Energy is building a 20 MW lithium-ion battery storage project in Albany at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The project will cost $9 million, creating 25 construction jobs and nine full-time positions.

Bizjournals.com outlined some of the financial details of the project:

The developer has signed a 10 year lease with Luther Forest Technology Campus, and holds two ten year extensions options. The energy storage project will offer the grid services as part of its deployment.