Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Are Key to New York’s Clean Energy Future


New York Governor Kathy Hochul outlined her plans for ‘Achieving the New York Dream’ in her 2023 State of the State address. A key component is a ground-breaking cap-and-invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change by driving investments in clean energy manufacturing, renewable energy and energy storage.

Governor Hochul’s announcement clearly puts New York State as the undisputed leader amongst states to deliver policy and investments to deliver historic firsts on de-carbonizing.

As reported in New York’s Energy Storage Roadmap developed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Public Service, “energy storage will play a critical role in supporting New York’s decarbonized electric grid by integrating large quantities of variable renewable energy, reducing curtailment, and storing renewable generation for the times it is needed most.”

Doubling the energy storage target

The New York Governor announced in her State of the State a goal to double the state’s 2030 energy storage deployment target, from the currently legislated 3 gigawatts (GW) of storage to 6 GW of storage, with an interim goal of 1.5 GW by 2025. This nation-leading storage target is driven by the quick growth in renewable energy expected over the next decade and the role that electrification of transportation and buildings will play in achieving New York State’s future carbon neutral economy.

These directives are outlined in the New York Climate Act, which calls for New York to achieve 70% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040. To hasten the deployment of storage and support the transition to a clean electric grid, Governor Hochul directed the Department of Public Service (DPS) and NYSERDA to update New York State’s Energy Roadmap to double deployment, achieving at least 6 GW of energy storage deployments by 2030.

Additionally, in the Governor’s State of the State Address proposes a “plan to end the sale of any new fossil-fuel-powered heating equipment by 2030.”  Hochul is “calling for all new construction to be zero-emission, starting in 2025 for small buildings and 2028 for large buildings” and “taking these actions because climate change remains the greatest threat to our planet, and to our children and grandchildren.”

In 2019, New York’s legislature instituted aggressive mandates and deadlines for reducing emissions, and Hochul aims to execute on this plan and “correct the environmental injustices of the past” by supporting home-grown green technology production including energy storage, solar, wind, carbon capture and clean hydrogen.

Governor Hochul’s nation-leading cap-and-Invest program to cap greenhouse emissions will invest in the clean energy economy and prioritize the health and economic well-being of New Yorkers.

“Big emitters will have to purchase permits to sell polluting fuels,” said Governor Hochul.  “The dirtier the fuel – the bigger the price tag. And the ‘invest’ part of the program will accelerate the clean energy transition and include a universal Climate Action rebate that will provide $1 billion in revenues that we’ll allocate to help cover utility bills, transportation costs, and de-carbonization efforts.”

‘Carbon-Sucking’ Towers

Hochul’s environmental mandates for zero emission for large buildings is a ‘tall’ order but can be met by aligning with innovative and nimble companies like Zinc8 Energy Solutions, as well as others. Under the ground-breaking New York City Local Law 97, “buildings over 25,000 square feet will be required to meet new energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions limits by 2024, with stricter limits coming into effect in 2030. The goal is to reduce the emissions produced by the city’s largest buildings 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.”

My company Zinc8 is developing a low-cost, long duration zinc-air battery energy storage system that can store and discharge energy over durations of up to 100 hours, scalable to higher capacities with an increase in the size of storage tanks that hold zinc particles. We are preparing to demonstrate our technology at a New York City housing complex supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) where a 100kW/1.5MWh zinc BESS is combined with onsite CHP generation. As winners of the Innovation Challenge of the New York Power Authority, we will be demonstrating a 100kW/1MWh zinc-air ESS in a partnership with NYPA and the University at Buffalo.

The historic measures taken by the United States and New York State to reach ambitious carbon neutrality goals are driving clean energy innovation. It is indeed refreshing to see a politician who does more than just spew rhetoric on climate change but puts leadership, legislation and state resources towards resolving the climate crisis, while building investment opportunities and green sustainable jobs for New Yorkers.

By strengthening domestic supply chains, engineering and manufacturing American-made, clean energy products to sell nationally and internationally, New York State will reach its goals of carbon neutrality and inspire the rest of the United States and the world.

Ron MacDonald is a Grit Daily contributor and President and CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions (CSE: ZAIR), the leader in Zinc-Air battery technology. The Zinc-Air Flow Battery from Zinc8 Energy Solutions is an energy storage solution designed to serve a wide range of long duration applications for microgrids and utilities. He can be reached at: [email protected] and on LinkedIn.



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