Energy Storage

Holyoke Gas & Electric to install 3-MW, 6-MWh battery storage system

Holyoke Gas & Electric plans to install a 3 megawatt/6 megawatt-hour battery storage system tied to an existing 5.8-MW solar facility in western Massachusetts to help the public power utility reduce its peak load.

Green Charge, an ENGIE NA subsidiary, will operate the energy storage facility, which will store power from the Mt. Tom solar facility to reduce local and regional peak loads, the company and public power utility said Oct. 4.

HG&E said the project, which will be the largest energy storage facility in the state, will reduce demand charges and help stabilize electric rates over the long term. The utility has a peak load of about 75 MW.

The project, expected to be online in April, was supported by a $475,000 peak demand management grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The grant will be used to study the storage facility and assess the value storage can bring to the distribution system.

“We are committed to continuing our work to improve energy costs disproportionately affected by times of peak demand,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said Wednesday.

“The demonstration projects funded through these grants will strengthen our innovation economy and provide the commonwealth with a roadmap for reducing our most expensive energy loads and securing our energy future.”

In June, Massachusetts set a goal of installing energy storage facilities that can deliver 200 MWh by Jan. 1, 2020. The state has a $10 million fund to support storage projects.

Public power utility Sterling Municipal Light Department, which is also located in Massachusetts, last year installed a 2-MW, 3.9-MWh battery system.

The project was designed to provide Sterling with emergency backup power during severe weather events, as well as lower utility costs. The system went live for the first time during a cold spell in December, just 33 working days after breaking ground, and shaved demand charges by about $17,000 for the month of December.

Sterling Municipal Light Department led a "Storage Top 10" list created by the Smart Electric Power Alliance for watts per customer, with 533 watts. Details on the list were released earlier this year.

For additional details about Sterling's project, click here.