See how this 20-foot battery can help reduce energy use during peak demand, and prepare for power outages

by Brianna Crandall — November 8, 2017 — As part of New York City Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the use of renewable energy, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), in conjunction with NYC Health + Hospitals and UniEnergy Technologies (UET), delivered a 20-foot battery — the size of a shipping container — to the NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi campus. The battery provides 100kW of energy over a four-hour period to assist with peak demand reduction and powering a portion of the medical center’s energy needs in the event of a power outage.

This energy storage demonstration project is part of the City’s grid modernization efforts, and is intended to be a test case to see if the technology is suitable for other buildings. It is projected to help increase the resiliency of NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi during events such as Hurricane Sandy. The modular assembly of the battery gives DCAS the option of adding additional batteries at a future date to increase energy storage capacity.

Energy storage battery

By charging the UET battery during off-peak hours, the City can reduce its energy costs, lower emissions, and reduce its impact on the grid.

The UET demonstration is being installed as part of a broader DCAS effort to deploy energy storage technologies to support demand charge reduction, peak shaving and integration with renewables such as solar. By charging the battery during off-peak hours, the City can reduce its energy costs, lower emissions, and reduce its impact on the grid.

DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo stated:

Energy storage systems are a game-changing technology that allow us to use energy smarter and also improve the resiliency of our facilities in the event of a power loss. This demonstration at Jacobi will serve as a proof of concept to help us lower demand charges, reduce stress on the utility grid, and understand how we can best scale-up the deployment of these technologies across municipal buildings.

NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Chris Mastromano noted that the technology will serve “to greatly strengthen our hospital’s resiliency measures and level of preparedness by assuring a consistent response to energy demand.

DCAS Deputy Commissioner for Energy Management Anthony Fiore remarked:

Energy storage is the linchpin technology to achieving the grid of tomorrow — one characterized by mostly if not entirely renewable energy. There will be a day when every household has its own energy storage system.

The UET battery has a life of at least 20 years and is said to be environmentally safe and recyclable. It has been approved by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and the Department of Buildings (DOB). The project is turnkey, with UET installing and commissioning the system and providing a one-year performance assessment.

Council Member James Vacca opined that “making large institutions energy efficient will be key to addressing issues associated with climate change.”

State Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj added:

Jacobi is a vital part of the Bronx’s healthcare system, the new mobile battery will be an invaluable resource in alleviating stress on the current power grid and most importantly, will serve as an added layer of security in the case of an emergency or interruption in power.

This battery storage project is part of DCAS’s Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA) program, which is designed to advance the deployment of innovative energy technologies at municipal facilities.

UET’s VP of Eastern Sales, John DeBoever, concluded:

UET is proud to be part of DCAS’s search for innovative energy technologies. UET’s advanced containerized vanadium flow battery is non-flammable and non-toxic, meeting the safety requirements of New York City, and demonstrating its value in a dense, urban environment.

Find out more about the batteries on the UET Web site.