Massachusetts is looking for solutions to curb peak hour use throughout the Commonwealth by granting nearly $4.7 million to 9 pilot projects. Peak demand throughout Massachusetts is four-percent of its total yearly energy load, yet accounts for over 40 percent of its total energy costs. The granted projects will integrating renewable energy and natural gas sources with energy storage battery systems and high efficiency management software to reduce the use of expensive and inefficient peaker plants, which are only brought online during peak demand periods.
“Massachusetts is proud to be a national leader in energy efficiency programs that reduce overall consumption and we are committed to continuing our work to improve energy costs disproportionately affected by times of peak demand,” said Governor Charlie Baker (D). “The demonstration projects funded through these grants will strengthen our innovation economy and provide the Commonwealth with a roadmap for reducing our most expensive energy loads and securing our energy future.”
Testing the integration of rooftop solar arrays and energy battery storage systems could significantly reduce peak time electricity use in Massachusetts. eCurve, receiving a $179,500 grant will combine its power demand management software with Advanced Microgrid Solutions’ (AMS) energy storage technology at four of Kohl’s retail locations. The software platforms’ performance with be evaluated at stores with and without rooftop solar installed, which will allow controlled and variable comparisons.
Through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Peak Demand Reduction Grant Program, nearly $2 million was allocated to funding projects to decrease the need for the state and utilities to invest in grid transmission updates. Additionally, over $2.7 million was granted to projects that will test solutions to reduce transmission loss, explore wholesale capacity markets and reducing utility customer’s costs.
“These projects represent another important step towards a clean, affordable and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “By funding projects that focus on a wide variety of ratepayers, residential, commercial, and municipal, today’s grants will lay the groundwork for reducing peak demand statewide.”
The other 8 awardees have a diverse range of solutions to reduce peak demand throughout the state. For instance Tesla, granted $996,455, will partner with National Grid to study and quantify the benefits of peak demand reductions. Additionally, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy received two grants totaling $363,000 to evaluate customer opinions about installing devices to monitor peak reduction in households and to deploy a program to reduce natural gas use during peak demand hours.Tweet