Dive Brief:

  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Program for energy storage is getting a record amount of participants, NYSERDA CEO Alicia Barton announced at the Energy Storage North America conference on Thursday.
  • NYSERDA announced a variety of state-wide incentives at a total cost of $405 million in April, to stimulate the storage market as the state moves toward its 3,000 MW by 2030 goal. Half a year later, $92 million of that budget has been committed to 37 projects, representing about 150 MW of capacity.
  • “That is, I think, faster than any program we’ve run historically at NYSERDA in terms of seeing uptake for exciting projects,” Barton said. She compared it to NYSERDA’s distributed solar program that has been building up over the years.

Dive Insight:

New York has a slew of clean generation goals that were announced at the beginning of the year, and “a lot of those programs are actually farther along than the storage program is,” Barton told Utility Dive. “The challenge we will have ahead of us is how to integrate” the new resources.

New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

ResourceGoalComplete By
Offshore wind9 GW2035
Distributed solar6 GW2025
Energy storage3 GW2030
On-site energy savings185 Tbtu2025

However, as energy storage prices have dropped and the market has grown nationally, Barton said the incentive program has helped propel the industry instate.

“We were very eager to put New York on the map for the attention of [energy storage] project developers,” she said.

NYSERDA has been comparing the pace of the storage incentive program, aimed at bringing developers into the state, with the New York Sun program for distributed solar. Participation and applications for the storage incentives have been “very fast,” with nearly a quarter of the funding accounted for within six months.

Barton said involvement in the program is “relative to” the pace at which NYSERDA made funding available.

The storage incentives target the development of small and large storage projects in addition to goals that NYSERDA imposed on state utilities.

NYSERDA Storage Incentive Budget and Program Allocation

ProgramTotal budget (in millions)
Bulk projects (>5 MW)$150
Retail projects (<5 MW)$149
Long Island$55

“It’s good to see the early market activity so we can get through some of those early market-learning stages,” she said.

However, not all market growth will rely on the incentives. She said further storage deployment will be unlocked as market participation rules are implemented by the New York Independent System Operator (ISO).

Barton pointed to recent innovations with the grid operator in New England, where this year a behind-the-meter distributed solar and storage project bid into the capacity market. “We haven’t seen anything like that take place in the New York ISO to date, and it’s [due to] the way rules are structured,” she said.

“Look at the end of the [New York ISO] queue, it’s 5,000 MW” of storage, Barton said. “That’s the single largest resource in the New York ISO queue. They know what’s coming down the pike for them, they know that this resource is increasingly becoming kind of a go-to for a lot of system needs.”

The grid operator submitted its most recent filing in response to FERC’s Order 841 on May 1 regarding storage in wholesale markets and submitted a separate filing in June regarding the treatment of distributed energy resources in its markets.

NYISO is waiting for FERC’s reply on both. The commission has had two vacancies since September, but expects to regain its quorum at the end of November. Commissioner Richard Glick is currently recusing himself from dockets that involve his former employer, Avangrid. Avangrid owns two investor-owned utilities operating within NYISO, which prevents Glick from participating in either docket.

“I think there’s really a lot of work to do [for strorage] to get to things like dual market participation for retail and wholesale in New York. That’s an ongoing dialogue and a place where the state has not been shy in saying to New York ISO ‘we’d like this to go a lot faster,'” Barton said.