ENGIE North America and Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) today unveiled Massachusetts’ largest utility-scale energy storage system at a ceremony at the Mt. Tom Solar Farm in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ENGIE Storage Services (formerly Green Charge) will operate the 3-MW GridSynergy system, which will be fully integrated into the largest community solar farm in the state at a location adjacent to the former Mt. Tom Power Station. The former coal and oil-fired generation facility, 90 miles west of Boston, operated for more than 50 years and ceased operation in 2014.
The energy storage system will enhance HG&E’s electricity system and help keep electric rates stable by reducing rising capacity charges for the utility and its customers. Additionally, GridSynergy will provide grid stability by responding quickly to electricity demand fluctuations; allow for the increased use of clean energy; and reduce peak load burden on the existing electrical distribution system.
Massachusetts is moving towards generating 45.5% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2035 and energy storage is playing an important role in achieving this milestone. Demand-based costs are rising throughout the New England market, and constituting a large portion of energy costs. This has created increasing pressures to reduce energy usage during peak periods. Over a 20-year term, HG&E will use energy storage to reduce demand peak burden on its electrical distribution system, thus increasing overall asset life. ENGIE storage systems are monitored, optimized, and controlled through its GridSynergy software platform.
“This project is the perfect illustration of energy transformation in action—affordable, clean energy replacing traditional fossil fuel power generation,” said ENGIE NA president and CEO Frank Demaille. “Solar energy, optimized by energy storage, is key to a low-carbon, low-cost energy future.”
“HG&E is excited to expand its relationship with ENGIE, through the integration of this energy storage system (ESS) with the existing large-scale community solar farm at Mt. Tom,” said James Lavelle, HG&E’s manager. “HG&E, and its ratepayers, will receive significant value, as this battery can respond instantaneously to relieve stress on the power grid, and help stabilize costs during period of peak demand or volatile pricing.”