Aubertine Legislation to Expand Energy Storage Technology


Law signed by the Governor reduces regulations to create jobs, meet peak energy demands

WATERTOWN (July 26, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine said today the signing of legislation last week which he sponsored to cut regulations on new energy storage technology (S.7145) will help to create new jobs, especially Upstate, while addressing the state’s power needs.

“As we continue working toward energy independence to ensure our power needs are met here in New York State long term, new technologies for energy storage must have the opportunity to grow,” said Sen. Aubertine, vice chair and ranking majority member of the New York State Energy & Telecommunications Committee. “By reducing regulations on these growing industries such as flywheel and compressed air, we are giving our State the opportunity to create new jobs in a new economy and meet our needs.”

The energy storage legislation adds kinetic energy storage devices, such as flywheels and compressed air storage, to the alternative energy production facility definition, thereby exempting those projects of less than 80 megawatts capacity from Public Service Commission jurisdiction. This will help to reduce the regulatory burden on these technologies which can allow for the utilization of renewable energy produced during off-peak times and can improve the efficiency of the State's electric system.

Energy storage systems have a role to play in taking off-peak production and supplying peak demand for electricity as a means to reduce stress on the grid and enable existing generation to meet increased demand. One of the leading companies working with this technology is Beacon Power, a company looking to use its flywheel technology in New York.

“We're extremely pleased with the efforts of Sen. Aubertine to move this legislation, which will now better facilitate the use of alternative energy resources like Beacon Power flywheels on New York's power grid," said Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO. “New York has demonstrated a strong commitment to renewable energy sources. Our emissions-free flywheel energy storage systems can support the state's ambitious renewable energy goals, while also helping to reduce electricity costs.”

The Senator has also sponsored legislation (S.8310) which passed the Senate to provide similar benefits to lithium ion battery technology, which also has the potential to spur significant job growth in our Upstate communities.