Massachusetts awards $2.1m grant for energy storage development


The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has awarded Enel with $2.1 million in grants for developing energy storage plants.

The grants have been issued through the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (“ACES”) programme.

The programme, administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, have awarded Enel their first distributed energy projects in Massachusetts and consist of a behind-the-meter micro-grid and a battery storage system.

The grants, which are part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Energy Storage Initiative, are aimed at promoting increased commercialisation and deployment of storage technologies in Massachusetts.

“We are very glad to work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and our project partners to explore how storage can best deliver long-term value to utilities and local communities,” said Francesco Venturini, head of Enel X.

“The convergence of renewable energy, distributed energy resources, and demand response services is a prime opportunity to provide valuable services to the grid and cut overall energy costs. These two grants are a testament to the forward-thinking approach, both in terms of technology and business model, that Enel together with its project partners is taking to value for customers and the energy system as a whole.”

Enel’s US renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power North America partnered with the University of Massachusetts Boston on a project proposal for a behind-the-meter micro-grid which was awarded an $850,000 grant. The project comprises a 0.5 MW/1.82 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system integrated with a 0.5 MW solar photovoltaic facility to be deployed at the University’s campus in Boston.

Enel’s US subsidiary EnerNOC was awarded $1.25 million, the maximum award granted by the ACES programme, to support its proposal to deploy a 2 MW/4 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system to be installed at the Acton Boxborough Regional School District.

Both projects combine behind-the-meter demand charge management and in front of the meter, demand response applications, creating multiple revenue streams for the parties involved, while also generating benefits for the grid in terms of reliability and balancing.

The projects will be managed through the DEN.OSTM software, developed by Enel’s US subsidiary Demand Energy Networks, optimising project benefits across a variety of applications, such as the management of facility demand and system peak charges thus providing significant bill savings. At the same time, the software will enable increased grid resiliency and stabilisation through the projects’ enrollment in the capacity, energy and ancillary services markets of the regional transmission organisation ISO New England.

In addition, the two projects will serve as laboratories offering a variety of educational opportunities, such as project demonstrations and educational tours, to both UMass Boston and ABRSD.

These projects are in line with Enel’s growing focus on providing customers with flexibility services including demand response, storage and micro-grid solutions. Moreover, they strengthen Enel’s energy storage capacity in the US and support the company’s early move into the growing Massachusetts energy storage market, which seeks to add 200 MWh of energy storage by 2020.

This follows news that Enel was the recipient of two awards in California; the result of an open competitive solicitation process run by PG&E to procure 580 MW of energy storage capacity by 2020, while contributing to the 2013 California Public Utility Commission state goal of adding 1.3 GW of energy storage by 2024. Enel S.p.A., through its US renewables company Enel Green Power North America, has signed three capacity storage agreements with PG&E for a total capacity of 85 MW/340 MWh.