by Julian Spector
October 23, 2019

Massive battery plants no longer surprise based on size alone. But in the last week, we learned of two new storage plants that break serious new ground in terms of market and technological advancement.

New York regulators approved a 316-megawatt battery plant that would replace 16 down-on-their-luck combustion turbines in New York City’s iconic Ravenswood Generating Station. It's not the first battery peaker to get moving, as we’ve seen a few in California and Arizona, for instance. But this would be the first major example in the Northeast, and the first to answer New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call to clean the air and the grid by surgically replacing the oldest and dirtiest peakers with zero-emission batteries.

A few days later, technology innovator Highview Power revealed it is developing a 50-megawatt/250-megawatt-hour storage facility in a retired thermal plant in the northern United Kingdom. Like Ravenswood, it’s Extreme Makeover: Power Plant Edition. This is pathbreaking for storage plants in the U.K., but particularly noteworthy because it’s a weird new technology: cryogenic air storage, which involves liquefying gas and pumping it into tanks.

Our skeptical Squared readers know not to put too much stock in early-stage developments, so I’ll emphasize that neither of these projects have firm contracts or offtaker agreements; they remain ideas in search of a financial reason to assume a physical form.

But ideas can move markets (which are, themselves, ideas), so this week’s Storage Plus will explore what changes these two projects will effect and what they reveal about the state of the storage market today.