Incorporating renewable energy into commercial properties provides numerous advantages to owners. Year after year, a growing number of property owners have incorporated solar energy at assets of all types—from office parks and multifamily buildings to healthcare facilities and universities. Investing in solar helps increase cash flow by reducing energy bills, promoting sustainability and tenant savings, and offering a solid return on investment.
What is less commonly known is that battery storage technology is rapidly improving in capability and decreasing in costs. More states, including New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon, have developed target battery storage implementation goals—realizing that battery storage technology is a way to use renewable resources more effectively and bringing additional value to renewables.
Improving the Value of Investment
In some markets, owners can improve the economics of its investment in solar and wind projects by incorporating battery storage. As an example, some states provide higher compensation for onsite generation exported to the grid at different times of the day. For sites with solar facilities, often this means shifting the solar production from the sunniest part of the day to a later period via energy storage.
Reliability and Resiliency
Incorporating battery storage is especially important for energy users or energy producers who have a need for consistent, ever-ready energy. For example, hospital campuses, which require a guaranteed energy supply to power medical equipment, elevators and lighting, might consider battery storage as part of their operational continuity strategy. Other facilities, such as designated Red Cross shelters, may consider solar and storage to provide long-term energy during a crisis. In the case of a sudden power outage, storage adds a degree of resiliency and reliability.
Attaining Energy Goals
In states with ambitious climate goals, maximizing the value of renewable energy is an essential component of carrying out successful energy initiatives. For example, energy storage is seen as an integral component of New York’s clean energy future by policymakers. In 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a nation-leading goal of 1,500 Megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2025. To meet this goal, New York has adopted battery storage incentives and methods of assistance for property owners interested in evaluating, developing and installing energy storage technologies.
Battery storage is a meaningful way to maximize the value of energy-focused upgrades to property while taking advantage of the energy incentives currently available. As the technology continues to advance, with the commensurate cost declines as also seen in the advancement of solar technology, integrating a reliable and resilient energy system through battery storage can bring economic, environmental, and resiliency benefits. There are several local companies available with the energy expertise to assist property owners; they have the capacity and capabilities to design, engineer, and install renewable energy plus storage systems from start to finish.
Jeremy Niederjohn is the director of Business Development for Con Edison Battery Storage. He is responsible for creating market demand, leading business development, developing new channels and enabling current channels to offer the product and serving as the market requirements liaison into product development.