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Using Energy Storage to Make NYC’s Grid Greener

How Related Companies Supported Grid Flexibility by Leasing Unused Space for a Battery Project

Related Companies is a global real estate and lifestyle company, with cutting-edge commercial and residential spaces in cities across America and throughout the world. But their mission is about more than just beautiful spaces—the company emphasizes sustainability in all of its developments. Related is a market leader in environmentally- conscious real estate development and operations:


Facility: 1.2M square foot shopping plaza

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Solution: 4.8 MW/16.4 MWh lithium-ion battery



The Gateway Center Goes Even Greener

Among their New York City properties is the Gateway Center, a 1.2 million square foot shopping plaza that’s home to nearly 40 shops and 5,000 parking spaces. During construction leading up to its 2014 opening, the company stuck closely to best practices in sustainability.


A few years later, a bit of unused space allowed them to partner with Enel X and make the Gateway Center even more sustainable.


Why The Grid In New York Needs Help

New York City is one of the most complex electric grid systems in North America. Not only is New York the most populous city in America, it’s also the most densely populated major city in the country, and it’s continuing to grow. This creates major challenges for electric utilities, especially during periods of high demand for electricity.


To help alleviate grid congestion during those times of peak demand, utility Con Edison implemented its Non-Wires Solutions program. This program encourages the development of distributed energy projects like batteries that can export electricity to the grid when needed.


These projects help New York’s electric grid meet high levels of demand without requiring the construction of costly new fossil fuel-dependent power generation plants.


The Opportunity For Related

Related Companies partnered with Enel X to install a 4.8 MW/16.4 MWh lithium-ion battery at the Gateway Center. It’s the largest battery storage system in NYC.


Through a lease agreement, Related Companies hosts the battery on Gateway Center property. The lease removes the complexities of energy management and tenant participation from the structure to ensure Related’s daily operations are unaffected by the presence of the battery.


With a direct connection to Con Edison’s network, Enel X charges the battery with low-cost power when demand for power on the grid is low, then exports that power when Con Edison needs it most.


The Focus on Sustainability

For Related Companies, the project is a way to leverage its properties to contribute to a cleaner, more efficient electric grid in its community, according to Luke Falk, Vice President of Related Companies.


“Sustainable solutions that support growing energy demands in large urban markets like New York City, while benefiting local communities are more important than ever before,” said Falk.


“We have been an innovator in sustainable building practices for decades and investing in sustainability in East New York for over 15 years, having opened the LEED Silver-certified Gateway Center in 2002 and integrating large solar installations in the neighborhood. We saw the opportunity for a storage facility onsite and are gratified to have partnered with Enel X to bring a clean energy solution that will improve energy reliability in the community.”


Supporting the Grid in Times of Need

In the summer of 2019, the battery system deliveredmore than 100 MWh during peak demand events, helping Con Edison avoid more than $50M in network investments and reducing costs for customers across the New Yorkgrid system.


The battery creates a hands-off revenue stream for Related simply by leasing leftover real estate—Enel X now assumes all operational and performance risk associated with the battery. With Related’s focus on sustainability, the company has found not only a new revenue stream, but one that supports their mission.