Introducing New York State’s Energy Storage Testing Center

The clean energy economy of the Empire State has just received a serious booster shot, thanks to the newly opened Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Testing and Commercialization Center in Rochester, New York. Made possible by state seed funding and a public-private partnership between the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and DNV GL, the center will serve to address two of the greatest challenges facing New York-based energy storage companies: access to technology and cost.

Until now, energy storage companies in New York have been hampered in their ability to develop and test new technologies because of the high costs associated with delivery of systems for testing in distant geographical areas. By relocating its existing energy storage testing facility in Pennsylvania to New York, DNV GL has eliminated those obstacles.

William Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST, said the new center will serve not only the numerous existing global energy storage companies already in New York, but will also act as a magnet to attract further investments by clean energy companies seeking growth opportunities.

“This project and our partnership with DNV GL further solidifies New York’s leadership role as a hub for energy innovation,” Acker said. “The new center is part of the state’s ecosystem for clean energy technologies which incorporates world class research institutions, a network of entrepreneurs, investors, major global companies, world-class manufacturing capabilities, state policies favorable to clean energy solutions and some of the largest markets for energy in the world.”

The state of the art center is capable of performing tests for a wide variety of systems ranging from single cells to those storing power measurements into the megawatts. In addition to environmental and battery lifetime testing, the center also supports product development, performance validation and certification testing — all of which are crucial tools to the continued growth of the renewable energy storage industry.

“The future is very bright for energy storage,” Acker said. “These technologies are making possible the widespread effective use of wind and solar power, alleviating grid congestion and increasing efficiency. It’s a key element for the transition to a more flexible electricity supply that is required as intermittent renewable and distributed energy options are connected into the grid.”

In addition to extending and optimizing electric grid operations to store power generated by renewable resources like wind and solar, energy storage technologies are also central to advances being made in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

“The performance and cost of commercial batteries continues to improve,” Acker said. “Over the past decade, the improvement in battery performance has made the revolution in portable electronics possible. The more new markets are added, the more cost will drop. As more existing product offerings continue to improve at a rapid rate, the more disruptive new technologies will enter the marketplace. This will open a number of important new opportunities such as wide-scale grid energy storage and broad adoption of electric vehicles.”

The BEST Testing and Commercialization Center officially began operation on April 30, following a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Lead image: Open sign via Shutterstock

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Vince Font is a freelance journalist specializing in the fields of renewable energy, high tech, travel, and entertainment. Read his blog at www.vincefont.com or follow him on Twitter @vincefont.

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