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Innovative Battery Energy Storage System to Debut for MTA - Long Island Bus Fleet

Brian Warner - NYPA
Tim O’Brien - MTA

May 1, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                           
GARDEN CITY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced it has begun installation of an innovative battery energy storage system at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Bus (LI Bus) subsidiary in Garden City.  Once installed, the energy storage device will reduce energy and maintenance costs associated with the natural gas compressor station used to fuel some 220 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.

The system, capable of discharging one megawatt of power for up to seven hours, is one of the first and largest sodium sulfur cell technology installations in the United States. The unit will become operational later this fall.

“Under the leadership of Governor George E. Pataki, NYPA has aggressively promoted energy-saving technologies in partnership with its governmental customers,” said NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Carey. “This project with MTA-LI Bus, introduces an advanced battery storage system to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and provide emergency backup power for the public transportation infrastructure. We look forward to additional opportunities to replicate this successful application.”

“The MTA is committed to improving service to its customers while conserving energy,” stated MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow.  “We are pleased to be the first transit agency in the nation to utilize this innovative energy storage technology that will help preserve the environment, improve service reliability and reduce our energy costs.”

The energy storage device, or battery energy storage system (BESS), is a collection of more than 6,400 sodium sulfur battery cells grouped into 20 modules, each containing 320 individual cells. When fully charged the BESS can supply one-megawatt of electricity for approximately 7 hours.  The BESS will power the gas compressor during the day, and automatically recharge itself from the grid at night when utility electric rates are reduced.    As a result, the bus company will avoid the higher energy costs associated with drawing an equivalent amount of power during peak daytime periods to fuel its buses.

LI Bus operates commercial bus routes linking Long Island and Queens communities to transportation hubs in New York City.  The company had previously limited its refueling schedule, and the gas compressor’s operations, to over-night periods requiring a full maintenance crew and supervision.

“Energy-storage is perfectly suited for this peak shaving application,” said NYPA’s Chief Technology Development Officer Shalom Zelingher.  “We worked with LI Bus to identify the most environmentally responsible technology, which was also appropriate to meet its needs. The unit has it all; it’s emission-free, noiseless and, can improve power quality, as well as provide voltage support to the distribution system.”

NYPA originated the concept for this project.  The advanced battery system is supplied by NGK, Ltd of Japan. ABB. provides the power conditioning and turnkey installation. Activities underway in an area adjacent to the gas compressor at the bus company’s service depot will be completed in the fall of 2006.

“We are very excited to provide the technology and implementation for this innovative project,” says Dinesh Paliwal, chairman and chief executive officer, ABB North America.  “Energy storage is one of many areas where we’re advancing the state of the art, and this installation will be an interesting application of the BESS technology.”  ABB headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. will help manage installation and system start-up testing.

NYPA attracted $1.9 million in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Electric Power Research Institute, Long Island Power Authority, Canadian Energy Association, American Public Power Association and several other electric utilities. The Power Authority will finance the remaining $1.9 million in project costs through its energy services program, allowing the MTA-Long Island Bus to repay over several years.

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating plants in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines

About Long Island Bus:

Headquartered in Garden City, NY, MTA Long Island Bus is a high-tech intermodal and direct transit agency that is part of North America’s largest transportation network. With 330 compressed natural gas buses, Ll Bus serves more than 31 million customers annually.  Its 54-route system covers 475 square miles throughout Nassau, western Suffolk and eastern Queens Counties linking together 96 communities, 48 Long Island Rail Road stations, five NYC Transit subways, plus malls, colleges, museums and beaches. 

About ABB:

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 104,000 people.

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