Massachusetts has awarded $20 million in grants to 26 projects designed to grow the state’s energy storage market. The administration of Governor Charlie Baker 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.
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.
In June, in accordance with the bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation signed by Governor Baker in August of 2016, the Department of Energy Resources announced a 200 MWh energy storage target for the state’s three electric distribution companies to achieve by January 1, 2020. Massachusetts currently has approximately 4 MW and 7 MWh of advanced energy storage installed.
“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 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.”
Tesla is receiving grants for two projects totaling $2.3 million. General Electric is also among the group of recipients. Additional information on the funded projects can be found here.
Energy storage technologies include batteries, flywheels, thermal storage, and pumped hydroelectric storage, which are capable of storing energy during off peak periods then providing energy during peak periods. 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, result in greenhouse gas reductions, and increase the electric grid’s overall reliability and resilience.
Since releasing the study, DOER has implemented a majority of the report’s recommendations to promote energy storage in the state.