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Energy Storage

MMWEC, Lightshift Energy to Deploy Fleet of Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems

Following a highly competitive solicitation process in late 2022, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company has chosen Lightshift Energy as its exclusive partner to deploy the state’s first jointly implemented fleet of grid-scale battery energy storage systems.

Under the first-in-kind program for the industry, Lightshift will build up to 50 megawatts of BESS across MMWEC’s growing utility membership, which represents half of all municipal utilities in the state, serving nearly 200,000 customers.

MMWEC is a joint action agency.

Lightshift estimates the partnership will provide over $200 million in cost savings for municipal customers while enabling effective management of generation and load to help the Commonwealth reach its goals of net zero emissions by 2050.  

As part of the agreement, participating utilities within MMWEC’s membership will host one or more Lightshift energy storage projects.

“Lightshift will leverage its extensive expertise in analytics, finance, operations and engineering to develop, own and operate the BESS projects,” a news release said.

The initial wave of projects will commence operations this summer, with four projects already under construction in the towns of Groton, Holden and Paxton.

Late-stage development activities are already underway in the towns of Peabody, Shrewsbury, Wakefield, Chicopee, Ipswich, and Princeton, with mid-stage development activities moving forward in several other communities.

The Groton and Wakefield projects, among others, will integrate direct resilience benefits through backup power to critical infrastructure. The growing portfolio is scheduled to come online throughout 2024 and 2025.

“MMWEC is pleased to partner with Lightshift Energy on this battery energy storage system project,” says MMWEC CEO Ronald DeCurzio.  “The project demonstrates yet again how the municipal utilities are leading the way in decarbonization in Massachusetts, in alignment with the Commonwealth’s emissions reduction targets.”

Cost-savings will be driven by “peak shaving” activities. Peak electricity demand often coincides with the grid's most strained and carbon-intensive hours.

Lightshift’s systems will be charged during periods of lower energy consumption and discharged during times of peak energy demand. These peak shaving systems not only have a huge economic impact, but they also reduce strain on the system, hardening the grid as a whole, and by extension, they support increased integration of renewable energy, enhancing sustainability. The program is expected to meaningfully reduce emissions across the state. 

“This is a significant milestone for Massachusetts and for the participating utilities which are demonstrating leadership in grid modernization while prioritizing cost reduction for their communities,” said Rory Jones, Lightshift Co-Founder and Managing Partner. “And MMWEC has been pivotal in facilitating this first-in-kind program that other states will look to as a means to achieve major impact through community-based storage, at scale. Our partners in Groton, Holden and Paxton have demonstrated particular leadership in bringing this program to life.”

Lightshift Energy (formerly doing business as Delorean Power), is a utility-scale energy storage project developer, owner and operator with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

MMWEC is the Commonwealth’s designated joint action agency for municipal utilities in Massachusetts. MMWEC serves 20 municipal utility members in Massachusetts and all 40 municipal utilities as project participants. 

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