Dracut Company Sharing In Grants Totaling $20 Million for Energy Storage Projects
Dec 07, 2017 06:03AM
● By Bill Gilman
MARLBOROUGH – The Baker-Polito Administration today 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.
Among the companies receiving grants is Greenlots of Dracut, which is receiving $439,000. According to its website, Greenlots is a "developer of intelligent solutions for the charging of electric vehicles. Charging solutions for the home and office help consumers, utilities, fleets and other businesses improve EV charging efficiency through managed controls, resulting in significant savings of both money and energy."
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 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 position the state to achieve its energy storage target.”
In June, in accordance with the bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation signed by Governor Baker in August of 2016, DOER announced a 200 Megawatt hour (MWh) energy storage target for the state’s three electric distribution companies to achieve by January 1, 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 projects awarded funding are:
Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company
General Electric - Headquarters
Boston Medical Center
Borrego Solar Systems
Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Clinton, Dracut, Leominster, Taunton
Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority
Hotel and Casino
UMass Memorial-Marlborough Hospital
Borrego Solar Systems
Reading Municipal Light Department
Taunton Municipal Light Plant
Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company
West Boylston Municipal Light Plant
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, result in greenhouse gas reductions, and increase the electric grid’s overall reliability and resilience.
“We are appreciative of Governor Baker and his administration for their support of Marlborough and our important community resources like Marlborough Hospital. This program through the Baker-Polito Administration, DOER and MassCEC will help create a new energy storage industry here in Massachusetts,” said Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant. “UMass Memorial Hospital’s leadership in this industry is demonstrated by its innovative proposal to combine energy storage with CHP and solar to create a unique microgrid that will allow this critical facility to continue to operate even in a widespread power outage.”
“On behalf of UMass Memorial Health Care and Marlborough Hospital, we are appreciative of the Baker Administration’s support of initiatives that promote and ensure safe, resilient and reliable energy infrastructure. We all must continue to look at ways to reduce greenhouse gas, cut energy costs and provide a cleaner healthy environment for our community,” said Steve Roach, President and CEO, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital.
“With this innovative grant program Massachusetts continues to demonstrate its leadership in clean and resilient energy solutions,” said State Representative Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough). “I commend the Baker-Polito Administration, DOER and MassCEC for their hard work and congratulate UMass Memorial Hospital for being awarded this grant which will demonstrate a cutting edge energy efficient and resilient microgrid at a critical facility in Massachusetts.”
“Recent advances in energy storage technology will transform the way homes and businesses in communities across the Commonwealth interact with energy resources,” said State Representative Carmine L. Gentile (D-Sudbury). “This funding will allow UMass Memorial Hospital and many others to take full advantage of the potential of renewable energy sources and promote the expansion of a clean, resilient, reliable, and responsible energy infrastructure in Massachusetts.”
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, DOER and MassCEC for launching this smart grant program that allows the state to identify energy-storage solutions throughout Massachusetts,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “Energy storage is critical to building a resilient clean energy grid for the future, and I want to congratulate UMass Memorial Hospital in Marlborough and the Acton-Boxborough School District for demonstrating how to produce savings while providing clean, reliable energy.”
“The Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage grant program is an important component of the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to promoting more clean energy sources and expanding the state’s energy storage capacity,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “This funding will enable the Reading Municipal Light Department to better manage peak energy demand while also providing RMLD customers with more reliable and cost-effective service.”
“The North Reading proposal will provide significant value to the region,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Energy storage is critical to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy generation, peak demand response capacity, and robustness of the grid. Using this unique lithium ion system will help our environment and economy.”
“These grants demonstrate the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to being a leader on clean energy and resiliency” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset). “I am pleased that Taunton Municipal Light Plant has been chosen to participate and will be undertaking an innovative battery storage project with a new solar array.”
“The advances taking place in energy storage will change the game and keep our power flowing efficiently at both low- and peak-power periods,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “I’m pleased that these grants will help our communities take advantage of this technology and help them save money while making our grid as clean and stable as possible.”
“The Northeast Clean Energy Council congratulates the companies and projects announced today as well as the Baker Administration for its leadership in kick-starting the Commonwealth's energy storage market,” said Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. “We look forward to seeing these and many other energy storage projects come online to demonstrate new business models and bring significant value to Massachusetts through monetary savings, high-priority energy and environmental policy impacts, grid management and resiliency benefits, and economic growth.”
Since releasing the study, DOER has implemented a majority of the report’s recommendations to promote energy storage in the Commonwealth. They include, but are not limited to, becoming the first state in the nation to incentivize the pairing of energy storage with solar in the new proposed solar incentive program, SMART; conducting solar-plus-storage feasibility studies for Massachusetts manufacturing companies; authorizing the pairing of energy storage technologies with the largest procurement of clean and offshore wind energy generation in state history, 9,450,000MWh of clean energy generation and 1,600MW of offshore wind energy generation; continued energy storage grant opportunities through the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative; and funding energy storage projects through the Peak Demand Reduction Grant Program.