Ambitious targets and tax incentives for energy storage

In 2019, New York passed the Climate Act which included as one of the decarbonization targets a goal of installing 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. Energy storage offers many benefits to building owners including reduced energy costs through peak shaving, increased resilience, and decarbonization.

There are multiple tax incentives provided by state and federal governments to encourage property owners to install these systems.

Safety considerations

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) come in a variety of technologies and the regulatory requirements and safety considerations vary. Batteries must be designed and tested to safeguard against thermal runaway and may need various safety provisions such as gas and explosion venting, fire detection and fire suppression depending on the type and size of the system.

What are current regulations in New York City?

New York City currently has a patchwork of zoning, permitting and code requirements for the energy storage systems. These requirements are scattered across the Zoning Resolution, the Fire Code, Fuel Gas Code, an FDNY Rule and several DOB Building Bulletins. Next year the updated Fire Code will include additional requirements for energy storage systems including the adoption of NFPA 855 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems.

What is the approval process?

As with the code requirements, the approval process depends on the type and size of the energy storage system proposed. It is important to understand that the energy storage system may need to undergo large-scale fire testing to UL 9540A and be UL 9540 listed before being approved by the FDNY and DOB Office of Technical Certification and Research (OTCR). In addition, the site-specific installation needs to be reviewed and approved. If the energy storage system is interconnected to the electrical grid, Con Edison will also require plan review and inspection before the interconnection is approved.

How can Banksia help?

Banksia provides energy storage system consulting to building owners, energy system contractors, and battery manufacturers. We help our clients navigate the permitting process, prepare zoning and code analyses, advise on UL testing and certification, and provide fire protection consulting, peer review and exposure modeling during design. We work closely with building and fire departments throughout the approvals process on behalf of our clients.

Contact us for more information.

About Banksia:

Banksia is a fire protection and life safety consulting firm located in New York City. We work with clients in commercial real estate, energy, industrial, residential, science, and more to create spaces that meet their goals — and meet all compliance requirements.

Haavard Boehmer

About Haavard Boehmer

Haavard has over 14 years of experience with complex performance-based fire protection design, forensic analysis, and fire research. His work focuses on application of computer modeling of fire and pedestrian movement to analyze problems such as smoke extraction, structural fire exposure, evacuation and crowd management, and battery gas release. He was lead researcher for the 2020 NFPA Research Foundation report on Fire Hazards of Modern Vehicles.