At this point you’ve probably heard that NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo sent out one of the largest solicitations for renewable energy within the state of NY. In turn setting the bar for what kind of actions need to be taken to address climate change across the US and abroad.
If you are interested in reading through the press release you can check it out here.
We wanted to dive into what the possible outcomes of a 4,000 MW renewables based power system means to the electric grid as a whole and how it could possibly be implemented to provide clean & resilient power to all residents across the state.
Installing more solar panels doesn’t directly mean a cleaner grid…
The typical response to “can’t use power at night” is well if we install big batteries along side large solar farms this problem is solved. It is…when costs for energy storage drop to the estimated rates 10 years out from now. Currently economies of scale and the demand for energy storage isn’t large enough for us to make an easy justification to include storage with every single solar farm.
There are even conversations to break up the patent monopoly on energy storage to help drive costs down faster than the currently expected rates.
The Solicitation Needs To Consider For Microgrids & DERs As A Whole
Fortunately NYSERDA & NYPA the two organizations that will likely execute on managing this solicitation have smart people within them. However, the challenges in finding land and driving local town/city support for more utility owned assets to popup in neighborhoods will be tough.
Towns in NY are quite progressive until the conversation shifts to “can we build a big solar farm or battery facility in your town”. While certain towns will be all ears due to the positive economic impact and job creation potential it will require a state wide effort of building local microgrids fitted with batteries and small solar farms to truly enable those 1,500 MW of land based renewable power to be useful.
About The Author
Swarnav S Pujari
CEO @ TouchLight | Founder of The Impact
Swarnav is the CEO of TouchLight, a utility backed energy company that develops software for nanogrids that accelerates solar payback periods by 1 – 3 years. He currently leads partnerships and product efforts within the company.
Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help provide open source tools, research and analysis to people passionate about tackling climate change. He also volunteers time with ClimateLink hosting regional meetups and was appointed the Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s CSC Task Force, where he helps with legislation and sustainability efforts within the town.
Swarnav has a background in building physical products and has been working in the energy space for about 8 years. He also holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, energy and real estate industries.