One of the US’s largest energy companies, Con Edison, has announced a contract with Centrica Business Solutions to transform a lot in Brooklyn, New York, into an energy hub complete with 18 350kW EV chargers and a battery energy storage system (ESS). Con Edison claims this will be the first hub in New York City that combines both energy storage and EV charging.
Con Edison exists as a subsidiary of the much larger Consolidated Edison, Inc. ($ED). Currently, Con Edison provides electricity to over 3.5 million customers in the state of New York. The energy company currently owns the lot in the Gowanus neighborhood and had previously planned to build an electrical substation there.
However, the company believes it does not need the substation in the short term, given the neighborhood’s current energy needs. It has instead awarded the project to Centrica Business Solutions, an international energy services and solutions business that has implemented clean energy projects in Europe and North America.
With today’s announcement, Centrica Business Solutions will lease the land from Con Edison until at least 2035 and maintain the ESS and EV chargers using the energy company’s grid.
Con Edison combining ESS and charging in New York
In a press release, Con Edison describes the project and proclaims it will be the first in New York City to combine energy storage and electric vehicle charging. At the Brooklyn site, Centrica will design, build, own and operate a 5-megawatt-hour/15-megawatt-hour battery system, as well as 18 DC fast chargers.
The battery energy storage system will exist in trailers on the lot, and “hold 5 million watt (hours?) of energy”. Con Edison says that’s enough energy to power nearly 5,000 apartments for four hours during peak summertime. Chris Covell, the head of Centrica Business Solutions North America speaks about the project:
Once complete, this will be one of the largest charging hubs anywhere in the city and the only one combined with a battery energy storage system. This kind of infrastructure project is vital to encourage the switch to electric vehicles and will help New York become greener and more resilient for future generations.
When Centrica has its ESS and chargers in place, Con Edison will then connect them to its grid and install transformers to support the systems. Centrica can then sell services from the batteries into wholesale energy markets as a virtual power plant.
Furthermore, the EV chargers will be part of what Con Edison is calling a demonstration project. The company plans to publicly share its findings and conclusions throughout the project’s progress. Con Edison believes this can help other planners in New York make future charging hubs as efficient as possible.
The combined hub of energy storage and EV chargers should be completely installed by summer of 2022.
It’s interesting to think that Con Edison’s hub will be the first in New York to combine battery ESS and EV chargers. Technically, this would be the first in New York City, since Tesla has been installing Powerpacks at Electrify America charging hubs for a couple years now.
Electrify America has currently has two operational hubs with ESS and EV charging that opened in 2020. Those are located in Albany and Valley Stream near Long Island. Several more are in the works but none in NYC proper at the moment.
Who did it first is really not that important as the idea that the combination of energy storage solutions and EV charging benefits well populated neighborhoods, and should hopefully continue.
By being able to charge battery packs overnight, these surpluses of stored energy can help provide more affordable and abundant energy during peak urban hours or in a dire time of need, like in Texas for example.
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