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Convergent delivers three solar-storage projects in Maryland as state ups 2031 decarbonisation target

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Energy storage solutions provider and project developer Convergent Energy + Power has brought three more solar-plus-storage projects totalling 8MWh of energy capacity online in the US state of Maryland, which just increased its decarbonisation goals for 2031.

Convergent has delivered the projects, whose storage totals 4MW of power and 8MWh of energy, for Choptank Electrical Cooperative, a non-profit utility cooperative operating in the coastal region of Maryland. The projects have a combined total of over 2MW of solar PV, which will charge the energy storage system.

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“Adding an energy storage system to existing solar PV is one of the best ways to optimise solar performance, lower energy costs, and increase reliability,” said Frank Genova, Convergent’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer.

The three projects bring the total that Convergent has delivered for Choptank to five, since 2019. In a press release, Convergent said that the Mid-Atlantic state is home to various extreme weather conditions making solar-plus-storage much needed.

Maryland recently enacted the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which increased a 2031 target for economy-wide emissions reductions from 40% to 61% (compared with 2006 levels) effective June 1, 2022. The only reference the document makes to stationary energy storage is about vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

“A county board may enter into an agreement with an electric company to obtain monetary incentives in exchange for allowing the electric company to use the storage batteries of ZEV (zero-emission vehicle) buses owned or operated by the county board to access the stored electricity through vehicle-to-grid technology,” it reads.

Maryland is part of the grid operated by PJM, a regional transmission organization (RTO) responsible for electricity infrastructure across 13 states across the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southern region of the US (PJM is an abbreviation of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland).

The state is one of the newer markets in the US for energy storage in terms of deployment. But it is noteworthy for having the first storage-based virtual power plant (VPP) to bid to participate in ancillary service markets in PJM, as announced in December 2021. The VPP aggregates battery energy storage systems (BESS) installed at households in the Elk Neck peninsula area of Cecil County totalling 2.2MWh.

Convergent is an energy storage solution provider with a pan-US presence. Last week it announced plans to deliver a 5MW/15MWh storage solution to a utility in Massachusetts, while in February it brought 60MWh of storage online in California.

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