06/02/2014 02:54 pm ET Updated Aug 02, 2014

Energy Storage in New York: If It Can Make It Here, It Can Make It Anywhere

On April 24, 2014, Governor Cuomo unveiled plans for an "energy modernization initiative that will fundamentally transform the way electricity is distributed and used in New York State." "For more than 100 years, the generation and distribution of electricity in New York have been largely unchanged, but today we are taking a giant step away from the status quo and leading the way on energy modernization," Governor Cuomo said. "By introducing and embracing information technology and clean energy solutions, millions of New Yorkers will benefit from a 21st Century power grid, enabling them to better manage and reduce their energy costs while protecting and preserving the environment."

Even the utilities are getting on board with this new reality. In February 2014, ConEdison and NYSERDA announced launched a program designed to result in peak summer load reduction of 100MW from demand response, efficiency and storage. On May 22, I attended the NY-BEST (New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium) Conference entitled Improve Building Performance and Reduce Energy Costs: New ConEd and NYSERDA Incentives for Energy Storage and CHP. ConEd is introducing major incentives for energy storage, which could end up paying for up to half of the capital costs for energy storage.

As reported by Resource Investing News, "the energy storage sector took a giant step forward this week with the news that New York's Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) will be installing three vanadium flow batteries on the 23rd floor of a downtown Manhattan building." New York is clearly creating a leading energy storage marketplace and the knowledge gained from this demonstration will help realize gains in building and grid energy efficiencies, save money for electric ratepayers and, importantly, add a new weapon to the arsenal of resiliency tools in the event of future grid outages.

As we continue the development of the only vanadium mine in the United States to provide the critical source of vanadium electrolyte for these advanced battery systems, my company is honored to be working on this groundbreaking energy storage installation with the MTA, one of the largest energy consumers in the United States.

This dramatic change demands the active leadership of New York's energy power-brokers. William Acker, Executive Director of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium, is positioning New York State as a global leader in energy storage technology, including applications in grid storage, transportation and power electronics. "New York State is actively pursuing commercially ready technologies that will help grow a clean energy economy and improve the reliability, efficiency and overall performance of our electric power delivery system," says Acker.

Governor Cuomo has been a vocal proponent of energy storage sector in general, realizing its important role in reducing costs, protecting the environment and improving the resilience and strength of the state's infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies. Last month, he announced "$1.4 million was awarded to six companies working on new technologies in battery and energy storage, which will help develop working prototypes that demonstrate the ability of these advanced energy systems to harden the state's electric grid and diversify transportation fuels."

New York has an electrifying roster of talent that is tirelessly working to promote, partner and implement the benefits of creating grid management solutions of the future today.