New York City trades gas plant for the world’s largest battery


The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a 316 MW / 2528 MWh (that’s 8 hours!) energy storage facility (pdf) to “provide peak capacity, energy, and ancillary services in New York City while enhancing grid reliability”. Ravenwood Development (owners of the current gas plants at the site) plans to build out the project in three phases – 129 MW, 98 MW and then 89 MW – with the first phase complete by March 2021. There is no timetable given for deployment of second and third phases of the project.

The facility would be located at 38-54 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, in New York City’s Borough of Queens (Google Maps). If the groups deploy all 2.5 GWh of energy storage, they will need demolish 16 existing gas peaker plants, only two of which – with a total peaking capacity of 316 MW – are currently running. There are other gas burning facilities as well, some of which were originally built in the early 1960s.

Found within the Acoustical Analysis & Recommendations (pdf) , is the below rough hardware bill of materials and shipping container layout. The document notes that there will be 136 individual inverters, with 64 of the units being double stacked. The document also names Sunny Central Storage 2500-EV-US Inverter as the currently specified hardware. It was determined that the hardware would increase the site’s decibel rating less than 3 db, a trivial level of noise.

In the filings, Ravenwood was asked to identify if there are “any facilities serving children, the elderly, people with disabilities (e.g., schools, hospitals, day care centers, or group homes) within 1500 feet of the project site?”

P.S. 83; P.S. 76; P.S. 111; St. Ritas School; Growing Up Green Middle School; Jacob Blackwell School; Western Queens Nursery School; The Child School; The Child Middle School; Long Island City High School; Long Island City Health Center; Bright Horizons; NYC Housing Authority Ravenswood Day Care; Queensbridge South Day Care Center.

The PSC’s 48 page decision (pdf – and here’s a link to the Master Project Petition hosted by the PSC and one specific document with great maps/research including the header image) also approved the facility receiving “lightened regulation” as it was determined there’d be relatively little negative impacts on the local population. Ravenwood argues that even though the facility would be charged by any electricity source – fossil fuels included – it would still lower overall emissions within the city.

If this project is deployed fully, the 316 MW of power would meet just over 10% of the New York State’s goal of 3,000 MW by 2030.

Currently, the world’s largest announced lithium ion batteries are the 409 MW / 900 MWh FPL facility in Florida, the 300 MW / 1200 MWh system by Vistra Energy, and a 182.5 MW / 730 MWh system by Tesla at Moss Landing facility in California, and the recently announced 300 MW / 1.2 GWh Eland facility by 8minute Solar Energy feeding Los Angeles. This project will double the largest here.

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