Advancing Best Practices: Clean Distributed Generation and Energy Storage


Con Edison for partnering with renewable energy firms, energy storage vendors and others to develop three advanced demonstration projects and a safety initiative around battery electric storage systems (BESS).

In Queens, Con Edison and RES will build a 2 MW-12 MWh BESS facility adjacent to a substation. The facility, combined with a portfolio of other utility-side and customer-side solutions, is expected to cost $200 million and defer about $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades.

With SunPower and Sunverge, Con Edison began in Q3 2016 to offer solar PV systems paired with BESS storage units to more than 300 New York homeowners. The resulting 1.8 MW of solar power and 4 MWh of storage will create a Clean Virtual Power Plant to help the utility align solar power production with system needs and provide homeowners with backup power.

Con Edison's Transportable Energy Storage System (TESS) features a 500 kW, 800 kWh BESS system mounted on a 40-foot semi-trailer that can provide mobile load relief and connect to customers at distribution voltage levels.

ConEdison and NYSERDA are working with DNV GL and the Rescue Methods training group on a battery testing laboratory and research program to address building codes and first responder guidelines for utility-scale BESS. Battery chemistries from six Li-ion manufacturers are being tested, as well as lead acid and vanadium redox flow.

UL for supporting the growth of renewable and low-carbon energy with testing, certification, performance verification, advisory and education services. The scope of UL's renewable energy technology services ranges from wind turbines and solar panels to inverters, smart grid and energy storage technologies.

In 2016, UL acquired leading wind and solar engineering and advisory firm AWS Truepower. The acquisition expands UL's global renewable energy portfolio and strengthens its solutions for wind and solar energy sectors.

UL is also evaluating the performance and safety of used Lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles-where their lifecycle is about eight years-that are repurposed for usage on electric grids-where the batteries could function for many more years due to less demanding duty cycles. Creating such a "second life" on the grid for EV batteries would significantly improve the economics of plug-in and battery-electric vehicles. UL is developing a protocol to put "samples of used EV batteries … through a pre-determined series of tests … [and to] establish a surveillance program," according to Forbes.