Brooklyn Apartment Complex Combines PV, Fuel Cells, and Storage for Microgrid

Gita Subramony, ERS, for Zondits

Marcus Garvey Apartments in Brooklyn will soon be the site of a hybrid distributed energy system. The housing complex developed and owned by L+M Development Partners will receive a project loan from the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) to add fuel cells and storage to the existing PV installation at the site. The project will add a 400 kW fuel cell and a 300 kW/1200 kWh lithium ion battery to the existing 400 kW solar PV installation. In additional to the loan from NYCEEC, the project will also receive funding from Con Edison’s Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program. The project is anticipated to provide a value stream to the apartment complex from demand response and peak shaving applications, and also help provide relief to the power substation.

NYCEEC Brings the Battery to Brooklyn, Financing Energy Storage for a Low-Income Housing Microgrid

PR Newswire, December 6, 2016

The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation has made a 10-year project loan of more than $1 million to the energy storage company Demand Energy, bringing large-scale battery storage technology to a privately owned low-income housing development in Brooklyn, NY. Demand Energy’s lithium-ion battery system will be used to store power generated onsite by the Marcus Garvey housing complex’s solar panels and fuel cell systems—or lower-cost off-peak Con Edison power—dramatically reducing power demand when electricity is at its highest cost. It will be the first battery storage microgrid installation at a low-income property in greater New York.

The 625-unit Marcus Garvey Apartments, located in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, is owned by L+M Development Partners, a large owner/developer of low-income housing. L+M has already installed 400 kW of solar and committed to adding 400 kW of fuel-cell generating capacity as part of a major property renovation. The energy storage and distributed energy resources will be integrated into a microgrid managed by Demand Energy’s DEN.OS™ software platform, which will optimize the value of L+M’s energy generation investments. The system will cut power expenses, help keep the grid reliable and provide off-grid backup power for emergencies.

“Managing on-site generation and extracting value from the demand response market have made battery storage a smart, cost-effective choice,” said Brian Asparro, chief commercial officer for Demand Energy. “This software-controlled microgrid is exactly what building owners and Con Edison are looking to implement. NYCEEC’s innovative approach—non-recourse debt financing—made it possible.”

“Energy storage closes the loop with energy efficiency and clean, localized generation, and helps encourage their adoption,” said Posie Constable, NYCEEC’s head of business development. “That’s why NYCEEC has designed a loan product to encourage energy storage projects.”

The installation will more than pay for itself through incentives from Con Edison’s Brooklyn Queens Neighborhood Program (formerly BQDM) initiative, and from ongoing revenue generated through participation in demand response and peak shaving power programs. To avoid building new capacity at a cost of more than $1 billion, Con Edison is offering major incentives to reduce electricity demand in the fast-growing BrooklynQueens area.

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