Baker-Polito Administration awards $20 million for energy storage projects

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded $20 million in grants to 26 projects that will develop the Commonwealth’s energy storage market and deliver benefits to Massachusetts ratepayers and the electrical grid. Recognizing the potential benefits energy storage holds for the Commonwealth, paired with the strength of submitted projects, the Administration doubled the available funding from the initial $10 million commitment. The awarded projects will benefit 25 communities and draw in $32 million in matching funds, helping to grow the Commonwealth’s energy storage economy.

The awarded projects will benefit 25 communities and draw in $32 million in matching funds, helping to grow the Commonwealth’s energy storage economy.

The grants were awarded as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) program, funded by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) through Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) and administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).  The announcement was made by Governor Baker during an event at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital. The critical care facility will use funding received under the grant program to integrate a 400kw solar canopy and energy storage system, reduce energy use and costs, shave its peak demand and increase its overall resilience.

“The development and deployment of energy storage projects will be vital to the Commonwealth’s ability to continue leading the nation in energy efficiency,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Funding these storage projects is an investment in our energy portfolio that will reduce costs for ratepayers and help create a clean and resilient energy future.”

“Massachusetts has a rich history of leadership in innovation and this storage grant program is another important step for the Commonwealth’s energy industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to these projects playing an important role in their local communities and delivering the many benefits energy storage can provide to Massachusetts ratepayers.”

Launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, the ESI aims to make Massachusetts a national leader in energy storage by analyzing opportunities to support energy storage companies, accelerating the development of early commercial storage technologies and developing policy options to encourage energy storage deployment. The first phase of the ESI, the State of Charge study released in September 2016, identified hundreds of millions of dollars of potential ratepayer benefits from the deployment of energy storage in Massachusetts. The study analyzed the benefits of 10 specific use cases to evaluate how storage economics vary by business model, market involvement, and location. These awards represent eight of those use cases and an additional use case not previously identified in the report.

“Energy storage has the potential to revolutionize the energy sector in Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. “The Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage program puts Massachusetts one step closer to realizing the hundreds of millions of dollars in system benefits and ratepayer savings that the deployment of energy storage can provide while positioning the state to achieve its energy storage target.”

In accordance with the bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation signed by Governor Baker in August of 2016, DOER announced a 200 MWh energy storage target for the state’s three electric distribution companies to achieve by January 2020. The projects awarded under the ACES program represent a total of 32 MW and 85 MWh of energy storage capacity, of which 16 MW and 45 MWh are within electric distribution company territory. Massachusetts currently has approximately 4 MW and 7-MWh of advanced energy storage installed.

“Energy storage is a strategic opportunity for the Commonwealth to transform the way we utilize our energy resources,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The projects receiving funding through the ACES program will provide a roadmap for how Massachusetts can integrate storage into our diversified energy portfolio to lower overall energy costs, increase grid efficiency by decreasing peak demand, and more effectively utilize our strong clean energy sector.”

“These projects represent a substantial step forward for the emerging energy storage sector in Massachusetts,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The Commonwealth’s leadership in developing this industry will allow renewable energy sources to be harnessed to their full potential and increase the resiliency of the electrical grid.”

The awardees include EnerNOC, NextEra EnergyUMass-AmherstSolect Energy and many others.

Energy storage technologies include batteries, flywheels, thermal storage, and pumped hydroelectric storage, which are capable of storing energy during off-peak periods when costs are low and then make energy available during peak periods when costs are higher. Energy storage also makes it possible to increase the effectiveness of renewable energy sources, like solar, by storing energy generated during the day for use at night. Energy storage can also provide power during outages, resulting in greenhouse gas reductions, and increase the electric grid’s overall reliability and resilience.

For the full article click here. Additional information on the funded projects can be found here.

 

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