New York state increases clean energy storage research incentives


From pv magazine USA

Climate and renewable energy advocates suggest that the New York State Build Public Renewables Act can help to ensure that New York achieves economy-wide carbon neutrality by the middle of this century. That scheme includes the construction of a green transmission grid, which requires safe and affordable energy storage systems that can power vast residential and commercial electric needs.

In July, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a new Inter-Agency Fire Safety Working Group. The organization comprises state emergency environmental and public service institutions that will research energy storage facility fires and safety standards. It will also collaborate with national experts and laboratories to stay current on fire causes appropriate responses and approaches to building green grid infrastructure that can accommodate vast amounts of electricity while decreasing the risk of fires.

The state is also heavily investing in affordable long-duration renewable energy storage solutions. Four demonstration projects have received financial awards in line with this goal.

Climate science specialist Ecolectro secured $1.08 million to scale up its approach to reducing the cost of sustainably produced hydrogen. Clean hydrogen is made through electrolysis, or the separation of water to generate hydrogen and oxygen. The element is excellent for storing vast quantities of green energy over a long period. These reserves can give consumers backup power during peak hours or weather storms. However, current hydrogen production methods are pricey.

According to a 2018 study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, and Innovation the Future Progress and Neutrality (ISE and IPA) using the proton exchange membrane (PEM) approach, generating one standard cubic meter of hydrogen in 60 minutes costs between $4,900 and $6,000. Ecolectro will deploy its 10 kW electrolysis unit in a pilot demonstration in partnership with Liberty Utilities.

Form Energy, a Massachusetts-based grid-scale energy storage developer, has proposed a commercial-scale, low-cost 10 MW iron-air battery demonstration system, which stores energy by converting iron into rust and rust back into iron. It secured $1.2 million from New York state and recently announced plans to set up a manufacturing facility in West Virginia.

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