NYSERDA sets parameters for battery energy storage

Battery operated: The rules (for now) governing battery energy-storage systems in New York State are explained in a new NYSERDA guidebook, available online.

With next-generation battery energy-storage systems gaining mainstream steam and Gov. Andrew Cuomo hitting the gas on new sustainability options, NYSERDA is officially setting some ground rules.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has announced the release of the Battery Energy Storage System Guidebook, Albany’s first – if not quite definitive – say on how such systems will be permitted to work across the Empire State.

The guidebook is designed to assist local permitting authorities and players in the growing energy-storage industry navigate the siting, inspection and review processes for the development of battery-based energy-storage projects.

Some of those processes are still evolving; others will change as technologies change. But the guidebook offers the most up-to-date recap of statewide rules and regulations regarding battery energy-storage systems – a crucial compendium as Cuomo’s call for 3,000 megawatts of stored energy by 2030 energizes battery-driven brains.

Noting that New York “is rapidly becoming one of the leading markets for energy-storage development” in the United States, NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton called the guidebook “a critical tool for local governments, developers and customers who seek to adopt energy-storage solutions.”

Alicia Barton: NYSERDA is committed to a clean-gen future, and batteries are included.

“Energy storage is a key resource in our ability to build the 100 percent clean-electricity system of the future,” Barton said Wednesday. “NYSERDA is committed to providing hands-on resources to communities all across New York as we build a cleaner, more cost-effective and more resilient energy system for the long term.”

Battery energy-storage systems – not unlike the vanadium flow batteries being tested by Stony Brook-based clean-gen company StorEn Technologies – figure to be a big part of that carbon-neutral future.

With StorEn Technologies – and the numerous innovators working with the New York Battery and Energy Technology Consortium, which hosted its annual conference this week in Albany – likely to push the envelope soon, NYSERDA describes its guidebook as “the first comprehensive set of guidelines” and “an important first step in protecting public and firefighter safety while promoting the safe deployment of battery-energy storage.”

Its content includes information on the state’s Battery Energy Storage System Model Law, which provides procedural frameworks and substantive requirements for residential, commercial and utility-scale battery energy-storage systems.

The guidebook also discusses battery energy-storage system model permits – outlining electrical and structural minimum requirements – and provides an “inspection checklist.”

NYSERDA has scheduled a webinar for 5 p.m. April 10 to discuss the Battery Energy Storage System Guidebook. Register here, or email cleanenergyhelp@nyserda.ny.gov for more information.