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New York Power Authority: New energy storage demonstration project supporting further integration of renewable power sources into grid

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Mon, Jan 20th 2020 11:55 am

New York Power Authority Innovation Challenge winner Zinc8 Energy Solutions to deploy first use of zinc-air energy storage system in New York

The New York Power Authority announced a collaboration with a leading-edge energy storage company to develop a demonstration energy storage system, using new zinc-air energy storage technology, in New York. The project, selected as a winner through the NYPA Innovation Challenge, will have the ability to provide back-up power, help level grid demand, and move the state further toward a carbon-free electric grid supported by renewable energy resources.

The new technology storage system will help advance Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Green New Deal.” It will work toward the achievement of Cuomo’s aggressive energy storage goal of 3GW by 2030, and by supporting a nation-leading commitment of 100% electricity from zero carbon emission sources by 2040.

“NYPA is pleased to be working with Zinc8 on an innovative technology that can help achieve the state’s targets for energy storage and have broad impacts across New York state,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “This collaboration will showcase a low-cost, long duration solution that addresses the unpredictability of renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, and offers environmental and efficiency benefits.”

NYPA, the largest state power organization in the U.S., connected with Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc., a Vancouver developer and manufacturer of long-duration, low-cost zinc-air energy storage solutions, through its NYPA Innovation Challenge launched in May of 2019 in collaboration with the New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s Urban Future Lab (UFL). More than 60 business applicants entered the challenge, designed to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies for the electricity grid to ensure an affordable and reliable renewable energy supply to New York. NYPA selected Zinc8 Energy Solutions’ Zinc-Air Energy Storage technology to demonstrate energy storage and demand management that can help build longer duration flexibility (eight hours plus) into the grid and optimize the role storage resources play.

“Advancing innovation is key in New York state’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality and invest in a clean energy future,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who announced the Innovation Challenge competition last May. “This investment in long duration, low-cost energy storage technology will provide a boost to our clean energy economy, maximize the benefits of renewable resources, and help in our aggressive efforts to combat climate change.”

NYPA will support the development, fabrication and installation of the storage unit at commercial scale over a three-year period. The 100kW/1MWh behind-the-meter energy storage system will be installed at a demonstration site in Western New York. NYPA is actively investigating potential sites, such as a municipal building or a building on a college campus or university that would benefit from the demonstration of this technology. The final demonstration site is expected to be set in the first quarter of 2020.

Pat Sapinsley, NYU Tandon managing director of Clean Tech Initiatives, said, “We at the Urban Future Lab are delighted to help NYPA, one of the most innovative utilities in the country, to source innovative clean energy solutions for their grid. The selection of Zinc8 Energy Solutions illustrates how important and effective a public-academic collaboration like the NYPA Innovation Challenge can prove. By awarding this contract, New York state is not only accelerating its own clean-energy future, but building confidence in the clean-power industry overall.”

Zinc8 Energy Solutions developed a patented zinc-air energy storage system that efficiently stores energy in the form of zinc particles and contains none of the traditional high cost battery commodities such as lithium, vanadium or cobalt. The technology allows for low-cost mass storage of energy and can be deployed into a wide range of scalable energy storage applications.

“This collaboration with the New York Power Authority is a milestone in Zinc8 Energy Solutions’ path to full commercialization and underscores the growing demand for low-cost reliable long-duration energy storage. This unique opportunity with NYPA not only helps Zinc8 contribute to the rapid advancement of clean energy in New York state, but also opens the door for Zinc8 to deploy its technology into the broader utility market,” said Zinc8 Energy Solutions President and CEO Ron MacDonald.

Zinc8 and NYPA see this initial collaboration and installation as a reference site for future installations that will further demonstrate Zinc8’s technology through NYPA’s wide variety of customers in microgrid, commercial and industrial and utility markets. The demonstration project is anticipated for installation in 2022.

The NYU Tandon Urban Future Lab in New York City is a cleantech and clean energy entrepreneurial hub that advances market-ready solutions to address climate change and offers several programs to encourage growth of the clean energy sector, including ACRE, a business incubation program for pre-seed to series A startups; PowerBridgeNY, a proof-of-concept center commercializing research from local universities; and H2 Refuel, a program to accelerate the adoption of clean renewable hydrogen. It also serves as a launchpad for foreign companies seeking to bring their innovations to the U.S. market.

For more information about next generation clean energy technologies, visit the NYPA Innovation Challenge webpage.

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