ENGIE North America and Holyoke Gas & Electric plan to build a 3 MW, 6 MWh energy storage project, the largest to date in Massachusetts.
The storage facility is sited at Mt. Tom Solar, a 5.7 MW solar farm that began operation in January at the site of a former coal plant in Holyoke.
- Green Charge, an ENGIE subsidiary, will operate the storage system to optimize intermittent solar energy and reduce utility capacity costs for HG&E.
Green Charge said it expects to complete installation of the Mt. Tom energy storage project by April 2018 in time for peak summer demand when capacity costs are highest.
HG&E said it will use storage system to reduce the burden on its electrical distribution system, increasing overall asset life.
Electricity from the solar farm will be stored in the storage system and will be called on during local and regional peak load periods.
The project won a $475,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources as part of the state’s Peak Demand Management Program. The funds will be used to contract with, schedule, measure and analyze the storage system. The goal of the grant is to provide research and recommendations on the future distribution system value of battery storage devices throughout the state.
“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,” Jim Lavelle, HG&E’s manager, said in a statement.