BOSTON – Eversource is proposing an energy storage project on Martha’s Vineyard that will help dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by five diesel-fired generators when electricity use is at its highest. Hidden inside a Cape-style building that will reflect the character of the island, the state-of-the-art battery storage system will improve electric service reliability and meet the island’s growing demand for electricity.
“This battery storage system will help Martha’s Vineyard meet its energy goals and reduce its carbon footprint,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “By storing energy when it’s needed most, we will be able to use it at any time. Our customers are looking for environmentally-friendly solutions and through this important project, we’re working together for a better tomorrow.”
The project will utilize a lithium-ion, 14.7-megawatt battery system that will supply peak load in the event of an emergency, like an outage or the failure of an undersea cable. It will also help to offset high-demand usage during summer months. It would be housed in a 6,000-square-foot building on existing Eversource property in Oak Bluffs and is one of two battery storage facilities approved in Eastern Massachusetts by the Department of Public Utilities. The second proposed site is in Provincetown. Both projects align with the state’s passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008 that established a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050.
The island is served by four underwater cables from Falmouth. In the event of a cable failure or other contingency, the diesel generators provide service. The battery storage will provide significantly less reliance on those generators. It also reduces the need to repair or replace the undersea cables serving the island.
In 2018, Eversource was the first utility in Massachusetts to secure approval for 50-megawatts of grid-scale storage as part of its grid modernization proposal. These battery storage projects will be among the largest utility projects in the country and will bring benefits in improving reliability, increasing the ability to bring distributed energy resources, like solar, onto the distribution grid, and provide support during peak load periods. The Martha’s Vineyard project will cost approximately $15 million dollars and is expected to be complete by 2020.