Watch New York in 2018 for Movement on Energy Storage

Dec. 13, 2017
Look to New York next year for release of an energy storage roadmap by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and an energy storage goal set by state regulators.

Look to New York next year for release of an energy storage roadmap by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and an energy storage goal set by state regulators.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an energy storage bill (A6571) in late November, following its passage by the Senate in June and earlier by the Assembly. The bill calls for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish energy storage targets by 2030, in consultation with NYSERDA and the Long Island Power Authority.

The law puts New York in league with a handful of states, among them California, Massachusetts and Oregon, that are setting goals or mandates for energy storage.

But first the new law is likely to undergo almost immediate amendment. Upon signing the bill, Cuomo also issued a memo saying that he had secured an agreement with lawmakers to make changes in the bill in the upcoming session.

Of concern is language that the memo says appears inconsistent with the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision, New York’s massive policy shift meant to decentralize the grid through market mechanisms. The bill also creates “fiscal burdens on state entities that should be addressed through the annual budget negotiations,” the memo says.

The end result is expected to be an energy storage goal that acts as signal for the industry and not a mandate that utilities procure a specified amount of the resource, which is California’s approach. Cuomo’s team sees a goal as more in line with REV’s market approach.

The deadline for establishing the plan also is expected to change. The current bill requires action by Jan. 1, 2018; the new bill is expected to give the commission until the end of 2018 set the goal and accompanying policy.

The roadmap will quantify the value energy storage can bring to the grid. “I think that will serve as the analytic statement for kicking off the public service commission deliberation,” said Alicia Barton, NYSERDA’s president and CEO.

Alicia Barton, NYSERDA president and CEO

NYSERDA hopes to complete the energy storage roadmap in the first quarter of 2018.

Barton said that the energy storage goal could lead to new opportunities for microgrids, in addition to those already arising out of NY Prize, a $40 million program for community microgrids. Many new microgrids include energy storage.

“We think that 2018 is going to be an exciting year for the energy storage conversation in New York,” Barton said. “This legislation sets a strong, high level signal. And now we are going to turn to the work of implementing details.”

Track news about New York’s energy storage roadmap. Follow Microgrid Knowledge on twitter@MicrogridNews.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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