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NEC Energy Solutions provides first utility-scale battery energy storage project in Massachusetts

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the project. Image: NEC ES.
NEC Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation, announced that it is supplying the Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD) of Sterling, Massachusetts, with a 2MW, 3.9 MWh energy storage solution.

Once the project is completed in December 2016, it will be the largest battery-based energy storage system installed in New England and the first utility-scale project in Massachusetts.

The installation will help boost grid resiliency against weather-related power outages, while also generating enhanced clean energy usage and cost savings to the town of Sterling. The project was funded in part due to a US$1.46 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) — along with additional financial and technical assistance from the US Department of Energy, Office of Electricity (DOE-OE).

Additional technical support was provided by Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) through its Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) along with Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project through a grant from the Barr Foundation.

Judith Judson, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner, said: “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. DOER’s Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, through which this project received funding, is a testament to the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to embracing innovative clean energy solutions across the Commonwealth.”

The Massachusetts DOER recently recommended that 600MW of advanced energy storage technologies be installed on the state grid by 2025, providing over $800 million in cost savings to ratepayers. This followed news that the state could impose energy storage deployment targets by 2020.

Bud Collins, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions, “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. As a leader in providing energy storage solutions, we 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.”

In related news, it was announced last week that NEC ES has taken delivery of semisolid lithium-ion battery cells from start-up manufacturer 24M, which has been touting its 'next generation' battery technology. The batteries will be tested and validated and the delivery comes a year after the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect. 24M claims its batteries could be half as expensive to produce as existing commercial technologies and could be used in NEC ES' integrated storage systems.

Cutaway image of an NEC Energy Solutions' containerised storage unit. Image: NEC ES.

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