New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) this week announced the completion of its first utility-scale energy storage project. The 2.45-MW battery project was developed in partnership with ENGIE North America.
ENGIE will own and operate the battery, which is located on the site of NHEC’s 2-MW solar array in Moultonborough, NH, an area that experiences fairly large summer population growth. The battery unit will charge from NHEC’s distribution system during times of low demand and discharge during periods of peak regional electricity use. By discharging during hours of peak electric usage, the battery will save NHEC’s members money on regional market and delivery charges while reducing demand on the grid.
One innovative part of the co-op’s agreement with ENGIE is that NHEC will discharge the battery to supply energy to its members up to 70 times per year. The battery project will provide NHEC with insight and direct experience into how battery storage technologies interact with its electrical system and respond to price signals and will be used to reduce NHEC’s transmission charges and regional capacity payments. NHEC estimates these discharges will save its members $2.3 million over the next 12 years.
“Energy storage is a rapidly evolving technology that has a key place in our strategic vision for our business model of the future. It’s important for NHEC to gain firsthand experience with batteries so we can better understand the benefits they have to offer our members and the operation of our system,” said Steve Camerino, President and CEO of NHEC.
“As more Co-op members install their own batteries, NHEC needs to be ready to support them with a flexible, responsive grid,” he added.
“We are delighted to have completed this leading-edge storage project alongside NHEC,” said Laura Beane, Chief Renewables Officer of ENGIE North America. “The addition of battery storage systems such as these are not only delivering real value to customers today, but also helping to accelerate the energy transition. NHEC’s leadership in commissioning this project reflects their commitment to innovation in supporting cost effective, clean energy for their members,” she continued.
The battery storage unit is the largest in New Hampshire and can fully charge or discharge within two hours. NHEC and ENGIE received all necessary approvals from the Town of Moultonborough. The battery is housed in a pre-fabricated 40 foot container located within the fence line of NHEC’s solar facility in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The battery unit has on-site fire suppression equipment and will be monitored 24 hours a day, year-round.
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 85,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities.