NYPA 75th Anniversary logo

New York Power Auhority logo




NYPA Announces $240,000 in Funding for L.I. Bus Energy Initiative         

Connie Cullen

December 28, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced Thursday that $240,000 in funding has been made available for an innovative battery energy storage system at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Bus subsidiary in Garden City.

The project, initiated by NYPA, will reduce energy and maintenance costs associated with the natural gas compressor station used to fuel some 220 compressed natural gas buses.

The system, which can supply up to 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.  It is expected to begin operation in 2007.

 “New York State, during Governor George E. Pataki’s tenure, has helped to lead the nation with clean energy alternatives for transportation,” Timothy S. Carey, NYPA’s president and chief executive officer, said.  “This pioneering project continues to demonstrate the Empire State’s commitment to using advanced technology to achieve environmental benefits and reduce petroleum dependency.

“The project introduces an advanced battery storage system to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and provide emergency backup power for the public transportation infrastructure,” Carey said.  “We look forward to additional opportunities to replicate this successful application.”

MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said, “The MTA is committed to improving service to its customers while conserving energy.  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.

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. The company had previously limited its refueling schedule, and the gas compressor’s operations, to overnight periods requiring a full maintenance crew and supervision.

The $240,000 in funding for the program will be provided from Petroleum Overcharge Restitution (POCR) funds. Administered by NYPA in New York State, POCR funds are the proceeds of court settlements relating to oil company violations of federal price controls in the 1970s and 1980s.

NYPA helped to attract $1.9 million in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Electric Power Research Institute, the Long Island Power Authority, the Canadian Energy Association, the American Public Power Association and several other electric utilities. The Power Authority will finance remaining project costs through its energy services program, allowing MTA-Long Island Bus to repay these expenditures 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 facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

Return to Press Center