6-MW/48-MWh battery storage system unveiled on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts

Posted On October 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm by / No Comments

National Grid yesterday
unveiled what it says is one of the largest battery energy storage resources in
the Northeast United States. Built on the island of Nantucket, in
Massachusetts, the 6 megawatt (MW)/48 megawatt-hour (MWh) Battery Energy
Storage System (BESS) built and installed by Tesla will help ensure electric
reliability for customers during peak summer months and defer the need for
construction of an additional underwater supply cable to the island.

In addition, a new 15 MW
generator and power control house was installed.  The project cost
approximately $81 million.

Summer peak demand

The demand for electricity on
historic Nantucket – particularly during the busy summer tourist season — has
grown significantly in just the last 10 years, from 37 MW in 2008 to nearly 49
MW in 2018. Nantucket has approximately 11,000 year-round residents, and the
population swells to more than 50,000 during peak summer months.  The
energy demand growth is projected to grow for the foreseeable future. 
Nantucket receives its power from two undersea transmission supply cables
roughly 30 miles in length connected to the mainland, which were installed in
1989 and 2005. 

In an effort to control for a
potential outage from one of the underground cables, National Grid developed an
integrated plan, IslandReady, to upgrade the island’s electricity

“Both energy storage and a
back-up generator are vital components to ensuring resilience and reliability
on Nantucket during the busiest summer months,” said Rudy Wynter, President and
COO of National Grid’s Wholesale Networks and US Capital Delivery group. 

“Battery storage is key to
unlocking the state’s and the island’s clean energy future.  We are
pleased to now operate the largest battery facility in New England to ensure
that Nantucket has safe, reliable power.”

The BESS, combined with the a
new, upgraded 15 MW diesel generator, has the capacity to supply the island
with energy during peak summer months if one of the two underwater cables currently
serving Nantucket experienced an outage.  The BESS has a 48 MWh capacity,
meaning it can provide 6 MW of capacity for up to eight hours.  

“This is an example of cost-effective deployment of energy storage, as it will help reduce emissions and ratepayer costs, while adding resilience to the Nantucket grid,” said U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Massachusetts. “Energy storage has the potential to be a game changer for Massachusetts and across the country, with significant ratepayer and system benefits,” he added”  

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