NYISO white paper on potential benefits of energy storage in NY electricity markets

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) has released a 16-page white paper highlighting the possibilities “Energy Storage in the New York Electricity Markets”. The document discusses potential benefits of energy storage, including those relating to intermittent sources of power generation, such as wind:

Wind power, in terms of both capacity and generation, has surged in New York State in recent years. Since the beginning of 2007, more than 1,200 megawatts of wind capacity has been added to the grid. The continued growth of wind as a generation resource is expected for the foreseeable future due to a variety of factors including open access to the grid, price signals provided by NYISO’s wholesale electricity markets, the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the potential for Federal programs controlling carbon emissions.

The NYISO Interconnection Queue includes almost 7,000 megawatts of wind power projects, which represent about 40% of the generating capacity in the queue. While there are no guarantees that all of the proposed projects will be built, the significant number of potential projects is an indicator of the positive prospects for further wind development in New York State.

Energy storage resources, combined with the NYISO’s pioneering wind dispatch system, can help New York take full advantage of its wind power resources….

Source: NYISO, Energy Storage in the NY Electricity Market.  Also, NYISO press release. (3/2010)

Recent New York wind power and related news items

New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel announced the release of a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of offshore wind power projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario. NYPA says “Not only will this represent the first initiative in the Great Lakes, it will be the first wind power development of any kind in a fresh water body in the nation… The Power Authority is soliciting proposals for the development of a utility scale, offshore wind power project in the range of 120 megawatts (MW) to 500 MW. Respondents have been asked to include all project costs in their bids. The project would interconnect with new or existing transmission facilities of the appropriate regional electric utilities, which are all controlled by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). The NYISO operates New York’s bulk electricity grid and administers the state’s wholesale electricity markets. The Power Authority would purchase the full output of the project under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).” (NYPA, 12/1)

Berkeley National Lab study shows no widespread impact by wind turbines on residential property values. It says:

The various analyses are strongly consistent in that none of the models uncovers conclusive evidence of the existence of any widespread property value impacts that might be present in communities surrounding wind energy facilities. Specifically, neither the view of the wind facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities is found to have any consistent, measurable, and statistically significant effect on home sales prices. (The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis, 12/2009)

Schenectady County issues “State of the Environment” report. The report notes that

In anticipation of the increasing demand for wind energy, the towns of Duanesburg, Rotterdam and Niskayuna have recently established zoning ordinances for wind energy development.

and it recommends that

Schenectady County should investigate the potential to develop available wind resources for power production and determine the best role for County resources in developing that potential. (Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council, 10/26 )

New York City residents can chose green power with the click of a mouse.  (Green Power NYC)

NYSEG receives $29M in federal stimulus for compressed air energy storage project. (Democrat & Chronicle, 11/30; Empire State news, 11/28)

China Wind Power IPO intends to raise $2.2B; backers include New York private equity firm WL Ross & Co., founded by billionaire Wilbur L. Ross Jr. (NYT, 11/23)

Transmission and storage

With a spate of recent articles, it would seem the New York Times has discovered wind energy. A new article, this time on the transmission challenge:

When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.

and another on the storage issue

When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg dreamed out loud last week about a New York skyline filled with wind turbines, one of the most serious issues raised by the naysayers was that the wind does not always blow when you need it.

But a New Jersey company plans to announce on Tuesday that it is working on a solution to this perennial problem with wind power: using wind turbines to produce compressed air that can be stored underground or in tanks and released later to power generators during peak hours.

A very nice and very current piece from the Department of Energy summarizes renewable energy transmission challenges.

New clean energy storage solution on horizon?

Energy storage is a bit of a holy grail when it comes to wind production. While wind’s energy source is ostensibly free, it’s variable. The wind blows when it wants, and may not blow during peak times of consumption, or may blow when energy demand is low. So how does one store the wind energy produced but not used?

Renewable Energy World reports on an MIT fuel cell breakthrough that could help to answer this question:

The key component in Nocera and Kanan’s process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water; another catalyst produces valuable hydrogen gas. The new catalyst consists of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode, placed in water. When electricity — whether from a photovoltaic cell, a wind turbine or any other source — runs through the electrode, the cobalt and phosphate form a thin film on the electrode, and oxygen gas is produced.

Renewable Energy World article on MIT breakthrough here.

MIT press release on same here.