Recently, we sponsored and participated in the NY-BEST’s signature event, titled “Capture the Energy”. It was the largest energy storage conference in northeastern US, which focused on how battery and energy storage technologies are driving technical and commercial innovation for a version “2.0” of the grid. I had an opportunity to present how our power converter FlexPhase technology adds value to the energy storage sector.
Timing of the conference couldn’t have been better as New York State is working on a new incentive program for energy storage and other “smart grid” technologies. New directives and tariff structures should also stimulate more interest amongst the developers and end-users. Owners of distributed energy systems, including those under New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)” program are also likely to benefit from the new tariff system. In turn, NY-BEST and Con Edison are proactively working with energy storage industry representatives to bring more products to the market. We would expect that future energy storage projects will utilize our FlexPhase power converter technology to its full capabilities.
The technical need for projects like these are clear in that they provide near-term capacity relief to the grid. But, some stakeholders remain concerned that project financing may be the bigger challenge for distributed “behind-the-meter (BTM)” energy storage systems that can be up to MW-scale. New products, controls, siting and financing showcased during NY-BEST may offer a way forward. Applying for siting or permitting especially in New York City is another area of concern. New York’s Fire Department and the Department of Buildings’ application process for energy storage remain complicated and challenging.
NY-BEST attracted a large and diverse crowd from different segments of the energy storage industry including government representative, members from academia, OEMs, developers and financiers. All in all, a solid crowd of 200+ attendees. For us, the NY-BEST event was a great success and there is a clear appetite to further develop energy storage systems on the East Coast.
–Christopher Kuhl, Business Development Manager, North America