NYC’s biggest battery is quietly powering Brooklyn

Source: By Nic Querolo, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The biggest battery in New York City has been quietly running for months at the edge of Brooklyn.

The 4.8-megawatt lithium-ion system sits beside a shopping center in East New York, helping power the local grid, according to a statement yesterday from the property owner, Related Cos., and Enel SpA, the Italian power giant that installed it.

The battery is an early leader in the race to build bigger and better storage systems nationwide. It comes as lithium-ion prices plummet and officials harness the technology to smooth power flows on grids, displace coal and gas plants, and incorporate more wind and solar energy.

It won’t be New York City’s front-runner for long. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has a goal to install 3,000 megawatts of storage by 2030 as part of an effort to curb reliance on fossil fuels. In October, New York regulators approved plans for a 316-megawatt system in Queens, powerful enough to supply more than 250,000 households for up to eight hours at a clip.

The battery at Brooklyn’s Gateway Center mall can supply 16.4 megawatt-hours of electricity. It soaks up power when there’s excess available and dispatches it when demand spikes, easing strain on the grid.

The system has been operating since June, but the companies didn’t announce it until yesterday. The project was installed by Enel X, Enel’s global business line focused on advanced energy services.