Enel X, Related Cos. Install NYC’s Largest Battery

An innovative approach to sustainable power at a Brooklyn retail center promises a new delivery model.

Image via Pixabay

Since 2002, Related Cos.’ Gateway Center has been a staple for shoppers customers in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. Now the 1.2 million-square-foot property can chalk up  another distinctive feature in addition to its lineup of popular retailers and restaurants. In a sign of state-of-the-art sustainability in the nation’s largest commercial real estate market, the owner teamed up on the largest battery storage system in New York City. 

Related partnered with Enel Group’s advanced energy services business line, Enel X, to install the 4.8-megawatt/16.4-megawatt-hour battery system. The installation will support New York energy giant Con Edison’s local grid during periods of peak demand.

Project team members suggest that the innovative approach could be replicated to help real estate owners, utilities and suppliers attain the energy and sustainability thresholds established by both the state of New York and its largest city. 

Enel X and Related connected the storage system in front of the meter for dispatch based on Con Edison’s signal, which will create a direct relationship  between the energy storage system and the utility. The lithium-ion system builds on Gateway Center’s sustainable features, which include a 764-kilowatt rooftop solar array and a 795-kilowatt solar installation on nearby affordable residential buildings. To date, the 1.2 million-square-foot, LEED Silver-certified retail center has delivered more than 100 megawatt-hours of stored electricity from the battery storage system to the local grid.

New leasing model

Enel X signed a unique type of lease with Related Cos. for the battery system’s site. The agreement’s structure removes the complexities of energy management and tenant participation. As a result, the key value of the setup comes from helping the grid without relying on customer revenue to make a project pencil out economically.

Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a 3,000-megawatt energy storage target by 2030 in the Green New Deal. Enel X currently has 16 customer-sited storage projects in the state. Related Cos. also has made sustainability a key component of its developments, including the first phase of Hudson Yards, which received LEED Neighborhood Development Gold certification this fall. In early 2018, the firm’s 10 Hudson Yards was certified as LEED Platinum, ranking as one of the most energy-efficient commercial towers in the city.  

Video courtesy of Enel X