New York Offers $8.1M to Reduce Energy Storage Soft Costs

Nov. 9, 2016
New York is offering $8.1 million for strategies to reduce energy storage soft costs, which can account for more than 25 percent of the cost of a distributed energy storage system.

New York is offering $8.1 million for strategies to reduce energy storage soft costs, which can account for more than 25 percent of the price.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) this week seeking contractors to provide technical assistance.

The authority sees energy storage as “a significant economic development opportunity,” says the RFP. Analysts expect global energy storage installations to grow from a 538 MW in 2014 worth $675 million to 21,000 MW in 2024 worth $15.6 billion, and up to $400 billion in annual sales by 2030.

The state also expects energy storage to be a pillar of the electric system as that state’s Reforming the Energy Vision policy takes shape and creates a more distributed grid.

Because local factors tend to drive energy storage soft costs, NYSERDA believes it can have an influence on them. The authority seeks strategies to drive down soft costs by 25 percent per kWh by 2019 and 33 percent or more by 2021 compared to a 2015-16 baseline of approximately $220/kWh.

NYSERDA wants to bring to the mainstream consciousness the idea that energy storage can reduce peak load and serve as a grid asset in a range of ways — from reducing customer demand charges to acting as a non-wires alternative for utilities.

The RFP notes that energy storage also can help integrate intermittent renewables into the system and reduce need for fossil fuel peaker plants.

To reduce energy storage soft costs, NYSERDA asks contractors to focus on four areas:

  • Energy storage permitting guidance: $1 million
  • Customer acquisition and best fit customer data analytics: $2.2 million
  • Customer and industry education: $2.45 million
  • Data collection and analysis for deployed energy storage systems: $2.45 million

Proposals are due Monday, December 12.  RFP 3407 is available on NYSERDA’s website.

What ways do you think the industry can reduce energy storage soft costs? Offer your thoughts on our LinkedIn Group, Distributed Energy Resources.

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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