While Tesla’s Powerpack battery system is finding a lot of success in Australia, electric utility companies are also starting to see the benefit of energy storage in the US.

Con Edison, New York’s largest electric utility company, partnered with Tesla to propose a series of Powerpack installations that could provide grid services to the company.

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The project will see Tesla deploy several Powerpack systems with Orange and Rockland, a Con Edison subsidiary.

In a filing (embedded below) submitted for approval by the New York State Public Service Commission earlier this month, Con Edison described the project:

“Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (“O&R” or the “Company”) will collaborate with Tesla on a project (the “Project”) to demonstrate an innovative business model that has the potential to identify and realize the unique attributes of energy storage and enable its wide-scale deployment. The Project will test the hypothesis that batteries can provide a range of services across multiple applications (e.g., deferred T&D costs, wholesale revenue, and reduced demand charges) by maximizing storage utilization and will develop the business model that allows for sharing of costs and benefits across multiple stakeholders (e.g., grid benefits for utilities and reduced demand charges for customers). Furthermore, the Project will develop and test methods for how to mitigate storage implementation barriers, in order to support the acceleration of wide-spread storage deployment in New York.”

The actual battery systems for the demonstration project will consist of a 4MW/8MWh portfolio of aggregated batteries located at individual battery sites behind-the-meter of commercial and industrial customers and co-located with distribution-connected remote solar projects.

Con Edison says that all battery installations will be developed, designed, installed, operated, and maintained by Tesla.

They elaborated:

“Tesla will work with O&R to develop innovative, multi-use operations strategies to balance dispatch among stakeholder groups. These stakeholder groups include participating customers, the distribution system, and Tesla. These strategies will be guided by algorithms and protocols, designed by Tesla, to deliver optimal dispatch for the aggregated portfolio, maximizing the portfolio value among customers, the distribution grid, and Tesla. Under this demonstration, the flexible operating characteristics of distributed energy storage will be employed to obtain the highest value use of the resource at any point in time.”

The electric utility wants two conduct the demonstration project over a three-year period. After being fully deployed, the $5.6 million project could pay for itself rather quickly by creating over $700,000 in value per year in the New York Independent System Operator’s energy, capacity and ancillary services markets.

Here’s the filing in full:

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Electrek’s Take

The filing seems to indicate that Con Edison is testing energy storage in order to prepare for a much wider deployment of the technology on its grid.

While 8 MWh is not insignificant for a single project, it is on the scale of Con Edison’s grid.

It’s the company third energy storage project in a short period of time, but the electric utility needs to accelerate the rollout if it doesn’t want to fall too far behind other companies, like Southern California’s own Edison electric utility, which has several Tesla Powerpack projects underway.

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