Officials Break Ground On Large Energy Storage Project In Mass.


NEC Energy Solutions (NEC ES), a subsidiary of NEC Corp., has announced it is supplying the Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD) of Sterling, Mass., with a 2 MW/3.9 MWh GSS grid energy storage solution. Once complete in December, the state- and federal-government-backed project will be the largest battery-based energy storage system installed in New England and the first utility-scale battery storage project in Massachusetts, according to the company.

Town, state and NEC ES officials commemorated the project in an official groundbreaking ceremony, and NEC ES says the project will improve grid resiliency against weather-related power outages while providing enhanced clean energy usage and cost savings to the town.

To reduce Sterling’s carbon footprint, SMLD has been installing large amounts of solar PV; however, SMLD desired greater resiliency and further modernization of its grid. NEC ES says the energy storage system will work in conjunction with the overall installed base of solar to provide the needed energy resiliency, particularly to critical town departments such as police, dispatch and fire service. It will also provide transmission capacity charge savings from reducing peak demand, which will deliver energy cost saving benefits to the community.

NEC ES is providing its turnkey GSS energy storage solution, which includes a single 53’ container housing 3.9MWh of lithium-ion batteries, a 2 MW power conversion system, and proprietary NEC ES AEROS controls software suite. NEC ES will also provide service and maintenance packages to SMLD for the project.

The project was funded, in part, by a $1.46 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), with additional financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories. Additional technical support was provided by Clean Energy States Alliance through its Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership and by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project through a grant from the Barr Foundation.

“Energy storage technologies, especially when paired with renewable energy, have the potential to be a game-changer for Massachusetts, helping to lower the cost of energy to ratepayers while reducing emissions,” said Massachusetts DOER Commissioner Judith Judson.

“This project is the largest of its kind in New England and represents our ongoing commitment to deliver comprehensive, safe, and reliable energy storage solutions whether located across the globe, or like this one, in our own backyard,” said Bud Collins, CEO of NEC ES. “[W]e stand ready to implement further projects of this type here in the commonwealth and in proud local support of the DOER energy storage initiatives that could make Massachusetts one of the largest energy storage markets in the world.”

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