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Astoria, New York, was once home to the Charles Poletti power plant – often considered New York City’s worst source of air pollution. But now the same site will be used for the East River Energy Storage System – a new 100-megawatt battery facility.

“That’s about enough power to provide about 80,000-100,000 typical households for four hours,” says Sarah Salati of the New York Power Authority, the largest state public power organization in the U.S.

She says the battery system will charge when excess power is available and then return electricity to the grid when needed.

That will reduce the need for the local utility to use highly-polluting “peaker” plants – fossil fuel plants that are only used when energy demand surges.

It will also allow the utility to store and use more renewable energy, for example wind, which is abundant at some times but not at others.

“It’s enabling and supporting the integration of … the massive amount of offshore wind that’s going to be coming into the system and being able to store it until it may be needed,” Salati says.

So when the battery storage facility comes online in 2023, it will help New York transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media