Energy Storage

Citizens Energy Battery Protects Holyoke Utility Customers From Wholesale Price Spikes

Citizens Energy has brought online a 4.99-megawatt (MW) battery storage system for Holyoke Gas & Electric in Massachusetts. 

The 10-megawatt hour (MWh) system will charge from power supplied by ISO New England and provide an alternative source of energy for Holyoke Gas & Electric customers when the demand and cost of power from the wholesale market peaks during the day. When the price of energy is stable locally, the battery system will participate in ISO New England’s wholesale power market to regulate power on the regional grid. 

The electrical output of Holyoke Gas & Electric’s hydroelectric system provides about two-thirds of Holyoke’s electricity annually. 

“The benefits of this system will have long-lasting impacts on the City of Holyoke, as will Marty’s legacy,” Jim Lavelle, manager of Holyoke Gas & Electric, said in a statement. 

The new battery system was dedicated to Martin J. Dunn, former mayor of Holyoke and a state senator. 

"On behalf of Holyoke, I want to thank Citizens Energy Corporation for partnering with the Holyoke Gas & Electric, in this energy project to meet our needs during peak load periods,” Terrance Murphy, mayor of Holyoke, said in a statement. 

The lithium-ion battery consists of three 53-foot containers, 158 racks and 1,896 module batteries, located across from Holyoke Gas & Electric’s North Canal substation along the Connecticut River. 

The battery system is the most recent addition to Holyoke Gas & Electric’s strategic peak-shaving program that is designed to help keep utility rates stable by protecting customers from the potential volatility of energy markets. 

The Martin J. Dunn battery system is the second that will contribute to lowering peak costs for Holyoke Gas & Electric customers. The public power utility installed a 3 MW, 6-MWh battery system connected to the 5.8-MW Mount Tom solar facility in western Massachusetts. The solar array was built in 2016 on property that was once part of the coal-fired Mount Tom Power Station. 

The Dunn project is the first battery system completed by Citizens Energy, a Boston based non-profit founded by Joseph P. Kennedy II to make life’s basic needs more affordable. 

Citizens Energy is developing other battery projects on the East Coast, as well as microgrid projects in other parts of New England, and has over 40 solar projects in its portfolio.