* Battery project to cost $22.3 million
* AES to build project at Westover coal plant
NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - New York utility regulators on Thursday approved AES Corp’s (AES.N) proposal to build a $22.3 million battery project capable of storing 20 megawatts of energy in Union in Broome County.
“This facility’s state-of-the-art batteries will store energy and deliver it back to the grid when needed. This project - the first of its type in New York - will help improve the ability to store energy, a critical component needed to help us further strengthen and expand our use of renewable energy,” New York Public Service Commission Chairman Garry Brown said in a release.
AES will build the battery project at the Westover coal-fired power plant about 175 miles (281 km) northwest of New York City.
One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes in New York.
The coal plant includes the 84 MW operating Unit 8, which entered service in 1951, and a non-operating 44 MW Unit 7 (1943). AES will connect the battery project to the power grid using Unit 7’s facilities.
AES planned to build the project in two phases, starting in the second quarter of 2010. It will consist of ten 53-foot containers each housing inverters and DC battery subsystems capable of 2 MW of capacity each.
The NYPSC said the project will participate in the New York ISO’s day-ahead market for ancillary reserves and regulation, which helps the power grid operator meet reliability needs. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino, Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)