New Hampshire regulators approve utility-owned residential Tesla battery pilot
- The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Thursday issued an order to launch the state's first customer-sited battery storage program and time-of-use rate pilot.
- The proposal, developed by the PUC, Liberty Utilities and other stakeholders, will add up to 1,000 batteries to New Hampshire homes. Liberty Utilities will install 500 Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries and private companies will install the rest, after the utility compromised on its original December 2017 plan to allow third-party installers.
- The agreement will gradually allow for a program expansion, including third party battery installations, after the utility proves the use of batteries can cut peak system demand by installing 200 Powerwalls.
Many investor-owned utilities seeking to shave peak demand are turning to battery storage. Behind-the-meter storage can also make utility systems more flexible and provide grid services. Typically, these projects are not undertaken by the utility itself.
The only major utility-owned, customer-sited battery pilot is carried out by Green Mountain Power (GMP) in Vermont, which included 2,000 Tesla Powerwall batteries. Residential storage developers critiqued GMP's program, as well as Liberty's original proposal, for boxing out competition for behind-the-meter storage.
Liberty Utility customers can charge their batteries with rooftop solar and use them as backup power during storms, or lower their energy costs by not off-taking electricity from the grid during peak times of use, when prices spike.
GMP said its program saved $500,000 by reducing peak demand during a July heat wave last year.
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