BOSTON – In a unanimous vote at a town meeting this week, the residents of Provincetown approved a lease for Eversource to operate a community battery storage project at the town’s transfer station. The state-of-the-art community battery will provide back-up power for customers in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet during a power outage on the power distribution line that runs along Route 6 serving the Outer Cape towns.
“We’re proud to be building this community battery project in partnership with the Town of Provincetown, and we’re excited to deliver a clean energy solution to our customers on the Outer Cape,” said Eversource Director of Clean Energy Development Charlotte Ancel. “The project is a strong example of how clean energy transformation can help enhance system resiliency and reflects our commitment to serve as a clean energy catalyst for the region and an environmental steward for our customers.”
The community battery is expected to provide ten hours of back-up power in the winter and as much as three hours at the height of the Outer Cape’s busy summer season. Based on historic data, it would improve reliability by 50 percent for customers in Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet. The community battery will also defer the need to construct 13 miles of distribution line, much of which would be through the Cape Cod National Seashore.
“This project will be a great benefit to rural communities like ours. Eversource estimates this project will eliminate roughly half of our power outages entirely, and when it can’t it will provide precious hours to prepare for an extended interruption,” said Provincetown Town Manager David Panagore. “Our working partnership with Eversource on this project is an example of our commitment to meeting the needs of our residents and finding clean energy solutions.”
The project will utilize a lithium-ion, 25 MW/38 MWH battery system that will supply power in the event of an emergency, like an outage. It will also help to offset high electric usage during summer months. It will be housed inside a Cape-style building and is one of two Eversource battery storage projects approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. The second proposed community battery project is a 14.9 MW facility on Martha’s Vineyard. 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.
These battery storage projects will be among the largest utility battery storage 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 providing support during peak load periods.
Construction on both battery storage projects is expected to start at the end of the year with a goal of having them in service by the end of 2020.