A new study stated that more than $800 million will be saved and a huge gas decrease equivalent of 73,000 cars removed from the road when 600 megawatts of energy storage in Massachusetts will be done by 2025.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton said “”storage is going to be an integral technology. “Game changer”, a term that others have also used to describe the technology’s promise.
“Storage could reduce the impact of the costliest days for purchasing electricity when power generation is stretched thin and prices spike. Electricity costs fluctuate constantly with the changing cost of fuel and other means of generation,” Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson said.
“Last year the most expensive 1 percent of electricity hours accounted for 8 percent of electrical costs. There is a range of ways storage technology could be used. Utilities could install storage as part of their work on substations that send power from the grid toward consumers, she said, or homes and businesses could operate their own storage devices to reduce their electrical costs,” she added.
CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Stephen Pike said “we’re in the very, very nascent stages of this, and we still do have a lot to learn. The center’s wind testing facility in Charlestown plans to install solar panels on its roof and incorporate storage there, allowing it to serve as an “in-house test bed.”
There are roughly 2 megawatts of electrical storage in Massachusetts today, which is about comparable to the array of solar generation nine years ago, before that industry took off.
“Storage can be deployed by utilities on the grid – with lawmakers authorizing distribution companies to own storage in a recent energy law – by municipalities seeking to build up resiliency in case of outages, or by homes and businesses of varying sizes,” Judson said.
“We’re starting to see interest across all of those cases. Despite the potential for savings and environmental benefits, there are still challenges to monetizing energy storage” Judson added.
Doug Alderton, director of sales for NEC Energy Solutions, was joined by state officials at the Saltonstall Building in Boston Friday for a display of a tall stack of batteries that can hold 100 kilowatt hours of electricity. Weighing 300-to-400 pounds, the storage tower contains multiple 5-kilowatt lithium ion batteries, operating in silence, generating some heat and slowly degrading over time, according to Alderton, who said they can last 10 to 20 years. Alderton said similar battery devices can be deployed in storage containers, with a single storage container providing 1 to 1.5 megawatts of power for a factory “for a couple of hours.”