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New York State PSC Seeking Public Comments On Energy Storage Roadmap

WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Public Service Commission is seeking public comment on whether to adopt recommendations set forth in the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap initiative.

The goal Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State of having 1500 megawatts of energy storage available by 2025 moved ahead in June when Cuomo announced the release of the state's comprehensive Energy Storage Roadmap.

The Roadmap makes several recommendations and establishes a target for the installation of qualified energy storage systems by 2030.

Jason Doling is program manager for energy storage for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSERDA. He says it is critical to enabling energy to be available when it's needed most.   "And so if you think about that today, the only form of storage we have is pumped hydro, and that's really good for a large bulk storage, but as we get to larger and larger levels of renewables, we really want to make sure that those are available when folks come home from work and really need them during the peak times of the day. And that avoids the need for using other sources, which generally can be the most emitting of the fossil fleet to spin up to meet those periods."

The Roadmap was prepared in response to Public Service Law Section 74, which requires the Commission to establish a target for the installation of qualified energy storage systems to be achieved through the year 2030, as well as programs to enable the state to meet its target.   "That document, which was done at the governor's direction, is really the blueprint that defines the changes that are necessary to policy and regulation and rate design and program actions like the incentives that can be taken to allow us to build toward those future levels of storage including the 1500 megawatt target."
Cuomo declared the Roadmap as vital to growing the clean energy economy and preparing for extreme weather and other emergencies. Doling says storage solutions are coming and will be more and more prevalent.  "The best analogy I think I've ever heard is, 'the way our electric system is built today, it is as if we put 12 lanes on the New York State Thruway to meet the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. And all the rest of the year we only need three of those lanes.’ That's essentially how we’ve built the grid today, and ratepayers are paying for those assets.  The future with storage and with renewables reduces the number of those lanes so that we're meeting those needs differently.'"

The public is invited to comment on the roadmap at the Colonie Public Operations Center, 347 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, N.Y. on Oct. 23, as well as the New York State Department of Public Service, 90 Church Street, New York, N.Y. on Oct. 24.

The public hearing will be held open until everyone who wishes to speak has done so. written comments may be emailed to the secretary of the commission secretary@dps.ny.gov

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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