06 September 2019
In April 2018, a working group coordinated by the City University of New York (CUNY) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), in which the Fire Department participated, issued the first comprehensive set of guidelines for installing outdoor lithium-ion energy storage systems in New York City, to create a pathway for safe widespread use of lithium-ion stationary storage battery systems. This rule implements those guidelines through fully-developed design and installation requirements and emergency management procedures for outdoor stationary storage battery systems. (The standards, requirements and procedures set forth in this rule represent the considered judgment of the Fire Department, not CUNY, NYSERDA or other working group participants.)
This rule also seeks to address the fire safety concerns associated with new battery technologies by setting testing standards and establishing an equipment approval process for manufacturers. Establishing testing standards, and in particular, requiring full-scale testing of battery system components and pre-engineered products, will enable manufacturers to identify fire safety issues and eliminate them or engineer mitigating measures in the design. The evaluation of the performance of battery system components or products in this manner will also allow the Fire Department to eliminate or expedite its approval process for specific installations. Equipment approvals will allow developers and installers to select products that are already approved for New York City use, with or without conditions or limitations.
This rule will prove to be a game changer for New York City, by alleviating congestion on the electrical grid and improving resiliency for critical infrastructure. In addition, large energy users, such as hospitals, schools, residential and commercial buildings will be able to load shift and participate in demand response programs.