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Jul 5, 2019 5:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Puts $55 Million Up To Spur New Home And Business Battery Storage Systems With Solar

A new incentive program announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo's office last week makes $55 million in grant money available to home and business owners or municipalities who want to install lithium battery storage units to compliment their rooftop solar systems.
Jul 9, 2019 10:56 AM

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced this week that it has appropriated $55 million to kick-start the use of energy storage systems at homes and businesses on Long Island.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, is accepting applications now for rebates of up to $250 per kilowatt hour of storage installed at a residence, business or municipal property, with some $15 million in funding available immediately and another $40 million allocated as demand arises.

With the use of solar energy production at Long Island homes and businesses booming, the state is looking to increase the use of energy storage components at homes, business and government buildings as an avenue to using solar production to reduce the electrical load during times of peak usage—typically late in the afternoon or early evening of summer weekend days.

“Long Island is the only place in the state right now where we have this residential offering, and it’s because the solar market on the island is so strong,” said Jason Doling, the assistant director of NYSERDA’s energy resourcing team. “And now you’ll be able to tap the energy generated by your [photo-voltaic] system to reduce your pull from the grid during peak times.”

In the last five years, a number of companies have begun offering battery storage units designed to be used at homes or commercial properties. The systems are primarily based on the lithium-ion battery technology that has grown out of the electric car market.

Residentially scaled systems range from $5,000 to $15,000 and up, depending on their capacity. The rebate program also allows for systems of up to 5 megawatts, which border on utility-scale systems like those constructed in East Hampton and Montauk in 2017 to store power from LIPA substations.

Integrating the storage systems with rooftop solar systems is easiest with new installations, or expansions of existing systems, Mr. Doling said, but existing solar systems can be retrofitted to accommodate the storage batteries.

The battery grants will also be available to municipalities and government agencies, and NYSERDA is also in discussion with LIPA about the creation of more utility-scale storage systems around the island for storing large amounts of power to be tapped when demand spikes.

The energy systems will have to be purchased and installed by contractors approved by NYSERDA. The systems will have to be installed and inspected before NYSERDA will issue the rebates for the costs of the batteries.

Application forms for the energy storage rebates can be found at nyserda.ny.gov under the “Explore Energy Storage” tab.

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