ENGIE North America and Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) will partner on a 3 MW energy storage installation at Mt. Tom Solar in Massachusetts. Green Charge, an ENGIE NA subsidiary, will operate the system. It expects to complete installation by April of 2018.
Mt Tom Solar began operation in January of this year adjacent to the former Mt. Tom Power Station. The system will be used to optimize intermittent solar energy and reduce utility capacity costs for HG&E while reducing stress on the HG&E distribution system.
It is expected the project will aid in stabilizing rates for HG&E customers over the next 20 years.
As part of Massachusetts’ Peak Demand Management Program, HG&E was awarded a $475,000 MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Grant, which will be used to contract with, schedule, measure, and analyze this state-of-the-art energy storage system.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, said, “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.”
While still an emerging innovation in Massachusetts, worldwide energy storage is rapidly becoming a key resource in renewable energy. Electricity produced from the Mt. Tom 5.76 MW-DC solar farm will be stored in the energy storage system isolated from, but interconnected to, HG&E’s electricity grid. This stored power will be used during local and regional peak load periods to help satisfy demand in a cost-effective manner.
“We are pleased to work with ENGIE on the Mt. Tom energy storage project, which will produce peak demand and asset management benefits that will help HG&E stabilize electric rates over the long term,” said Jim Lavelle, HG&E’s Manager. “This project also adds a measure of resiliency to our local grid, helping us to better serve our customers.”
Over a 20-year term, HG&E will also use energy storage to reduce the burden on its electrical distribution system, thus increasing overall asset life. Green Charge systems are monitored, optimized, and controlled through its proprietary GridSynergy™ software platform.
“Solar and energy storage are keys to a low-carbon, low-cost energy future and HG&E is taking the lead by moving forward proactively to deploy what we see as the future for the energy industry,” said Frank Demaille, President and CEO of ENGIE North America.