National Grid, Convergent Energy + Power, partner on solar and storage for no-wire resiliency
Convergent Energy + Power and National Grid announced that the two companies have completed a solar-plus-storage system intended to provide a non-wires-alternative (NWA) for instances of peak demand for electric customers in Cicero, New York.
For the purposes of this project, a NWA is any sort of generation/storage system that removes or defers the need to construct or upgrade components of a distribution and/or transmission system. This 10 MW/40 MWh of energy storage paired with 15 MW of solar will be constructed nearby Cicero’s Pine Grove substation, and is intended to provide seamless reliability to customers served by the substation by charging the batteries when electricity demand is low and discharging when demand outstrips supply. During off-peak days, Convergent will participate in the market to provide clean energy for National Grid customers.
Utilities across the country are increasingly looking to storage as a way to meet afternoon demand spikes in lieu of traditional gas-fired peaker plants, which provide reliability at the cost of high emissions, dure to the fast-start/fast-stop nature of demand spikes.
“National Grid is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the amount of renewable energy on the grid while improving reliability and affordability for customers,” said Brian Gemmell, National Grid’s chief clean energy development officer. “Our recently released Clean Energy Vision plan outlines a pathway to achieve a fossil-free future to our energy systems that incorporates renewable sources of energy and storage solutions such as this NWA Pine Grove. Convergent Energy + Power’s expertise in developing and operating energy storage solutions that benefit utilities and communities made them a natural fit for this project.”
National Grid’s Clean Energy Vision plan is a comprehensive plan that the company released, outlining the pathways it will take to ensure net-zero emissions in operations. The plan also includes a goal to fully eliminate fossil fuels from both the company’s gas and electric systems by 2050.
The 10 MW/40 MWh of energy storage and 15 MW solar project is part of Convergent’s portfolio of eight solar-plus-storage systems in Central and Upstate New York. The solar-plus-storage system was constructed by CS Energy. GE provided the DC-Coupled energy storage package. $2.3 million of the project’s development and construction costs were provided by the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through its NY-Sun Program, the state’s $1.8 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar while driving costs down and making solar energy more accessible to homes, businesses, and communities.
To date, NY-Sun funding has enabled:
- the installation of solar on the rooftop or property of 165,000 homes, spanning every county in New York
- over $1.3 billion in incentives, leveraging $6.1 billion in private investment
- over 2,500% solar growth in the State
- the delivery of enough clean, renewable energy to power over 627,000 New York homes
- 12,000 jobs in the solar industry
- driving down the cost of solar 70% in 10 years
- $30 million for projects benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.
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