Using MAPS to model the effect of increased renewables in NYC on peaker plant operation, NYPA found that individual peaker plants could be near to fully replaced with battery storage by 2030.

The challenge

With New York State’s goal of achieving a zero-emission power system by 2040, and its own 2035 decarbonization targets, NYPA was seeking to replace its New York City peaker generation with battery storage, a significant challenge based on their historical operation.

The solution

NYPA leveraged MAPS to model the New York electrical system over the next decade, including state renewable targets, offshore wind and storage resources in NYC as well increased delivery of clean energy into the city. The study showed that NYPA can replace its peakers with 4-hour battery storage at each site when studied individually.

In 2020, NYPA released its VISION2030 10 yr. strategic plan, including a goal to fully decarbonize its generation assets by 2035. One of the major challenges to achieving that goal was how to handle New York City's existing small clean power plants (SCPPs), approximately 400 MW of fossil generation in environmental justice communities. Consulting Services, together with E3, examined a path forward where those units could be fully or partially replaced with 4-hour battery storage.

NYC’s peaker plants were initially built to mitigate local transmission constraints, typically during the summer, and could run for upwards of 8 hours at any given day. Based on the historical data, replacing 8-hour peaker plants with 4-hour battery storage appeared impossible.

Amount of energy storage systems or battery container units with solar and turbine farm

NYPA looked to GE Vernova's MAPS software and consulting expertise to model a “base case” comprised of renewable fuel sources in compliance with New York’s Climate Act. As part of its transition to greener technology, New York is paving the path forward to have 70% of its of electricity sourced from renewables by 2030, further leading to the decline of fossil generation in NYC.

This base case model showed a 20% reduction in NY fossil generation, and a return to peak load operation for the SCPPs, making room for alternative fuel sources. Based on their findings, NYPA will be able to replace its peaker plants with 4-hour battery storage by 2030. Should this replacement take place, NYPA could meet its decarbonization goals 5 years ahead of schedule and 10 years before New York’s statewide decarbonization goal.

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