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Con Edison and O&R Utilities Seeking Battery Projects to Aid Clean Energy Push

Con Edison of New York and its affiliate Orange & Rockland (O&R) are looking for developers who can place large battery storage systems in New York City and four counties to the north.

The companies have released a request for proposals for developers interested in building battery systems that can go into operation by the end of 2025.

Energy storage is part of the New York State and New York City environmental plans, which Con Edison Inc. supports. Batteries make it possible to store electricity created by renewable resources such as solar farms and windmills and provide that energy to customers when they need it.

“We want to build on the momentum from our first request and help New York State move closer to its battery storage goals,” said Leonard Singh, senior vice president, Customer Energy Solutions, for Con Edison. “Our battery projects and the transmission lines we are building will maximize the environmental benefits from the renewable energy that will join New York State’s portfolio.”

“Energy storage plays an important role in our concerted efforts to provide reliable and resilient power to our customers while minimizing its overall cost,” said Orville Cocking, vice president of Operations at O&R.

Energy storage can draw power from the grid when the demand for power is low and less expensive. It can discharge that power at times when the demand for power is high, decreasing the need for power from fossil fuel-fired plants.

Utility-scale energy storage will grow in importance with the planned addition of large amounts of renewable energy in New York State, including 6,000 megawatts of solar and 9,000 megawatts from offshore wind.

The request for proposals says Con Edison wants projects totaling at least 200 megawatts in New York City and Westchester County, while O&R is looking for projects totaling 10 megawatts.

Developers that respond to the request can propose one project or multiple projects. Each project must be more than 5 megawatts.

The projects must connect to the Con Edison or O&R transmission or distribution systems. Developers will own, operate and maintain the storage systems and enter contracts of up to 10 years with Con Edison or O&R, agreeing to let the utility bid services from the systems into the state’s wholesale market.

The New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) last month approved a plan by Con Edison and partner 174 Power Global for a 100-megawatt battery project at the site of the former Charles Poletti natural gas-fired plant in Astoria, Queens. That project near the East River will be complete by the end of 2022 and will be the largest storage facility in New York State.

The Astoria project is the result of a request for proposals that Con Edison issued in 2019.

In April, O&R began operating its first battery energy storage project, a 3-megawatt battery storage array in Rockland County, marking a significant milestone in the growth of energy storage capacity in New York’s Hudson Valley.

The battery storage project is part of O&R’s program to reduce costs to customers and incorporate new technologies to maintain efficient, resilient and reliable electric operations.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy-delivery companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $62 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY), a regulated utility providing electric service in New York City and New York's Westchester County, gas service in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens and parts of Westchester, and steam service in Manhattan; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,300-square-mile-area in southeastern New York State and northern New Jersey; Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc., the second-largest solar developer in the United States and the seventh-largest worldwide, which, through its subsidiaries develops, owns and operates renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure projects and provides energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers; and Con Edison Transmission, Inc., which falls primarily under the oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and through its subsidiaries invests in electric transmission projects supporting its parent company's effort to transition to clean, renewable energy. Con Edison Transmission manages, through joint ventures, both electric and gas assets while seeking to develop electric transmission projects that will bring clean, renewable electricity to customers, focusing on New York, New England, the Mid-Atlantic states and the Midwest.