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Moultonborough, NH 2 MW Solar Just Keeps Getting Better

The NHEC Project Now Includes a 2.45 MW Battery for Storage

The 2.45 MW battery storage at the site of NHEC’s 2 MW Moultonborough Solar Array in New Hampshire (Courtesy image from New Hampshire Electric Co-op)

George Harvey

Last November, Green Energy Times published “Big, Bigger, Hugest,” an article about the Moultonborough Solar Array (MSA). (www.bit.ly/GET-Hugest) That array, which belongs to the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) was the largest in New Hampshire, at 2 megawatts (MW).

Now, NHEC has given us an update on the MSA. NHEC has partnered with ENGIE North America (ENGIE) to install a 2.45-MW battery at the MSA site. The battery will be owned and operated by ENGIE, but through an innovative agreement, NHEC will be able to discharge it up to seventy times per year.

There is an obvious advantage to the utility to buy electricity when demand and prices are low, store it in a battery, and sell it when demand and prices are high. However, here is more to the economics of battery storage than that.

Transmission charges are set periodically by the independent system operator, ISO New England, partly based on the greatest amount of electricity transmitted at any time. The greater that amount is, the higher all the transmission costs are. This means that if batteries can be used to reduce the greatest transmission loads, the cost is reduced for all electricity that goes through ISO New England’s lines for the entire year. NHEC estimates that the battery in Moultonborough will save its customers $2.3 million over the next twelve years.

The battery will also give NHEC important experience with energy storage, which is one of the fastest growing technologies in the field. Steve Camerino, President and CEO of NHEC, said, “Energy storage is a rapidly evolving technology that has a key place in our strategic vision for our business model of the future. It’s important for NHEC to gain firsthand experience with batteries so we can better understand the benefits they have to offer our members and the operation of our system.”

Laura Beane, Chief Renewables Officer of ENGIE North America, made another important point: “The addition of battery storage systems such as these are not only delivering real value to customers today, but also helping to accelerate the energy transition. NHEC’s leadership in commissioning this project reflects their commitment to innovation in supporting cost effective, clean energy for their members.”

The combination of batteries and renewable energy is not just saving customers money, it is helping us go through the transition away from use of fossil fuels to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

MSA is the first grid-scale battery owned by NHEC. It is also the largest battery in New Hampshire. We can expect that more and larger batteries will come to New Hampshire as the transition to renewable energy continues.

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Plymouth, NH. They serve 85,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities maintaining and servicing 6,000 miles of energized line. Learn more at NHEC.com.

ENGIE North America Inc., part of the French multinational ENGIE Group, helps customers decarbonize, decentralize, and digitalize their operations more efficiently and optimize energy and other resource use and expense. Nearly 100% of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable. Learn more at engie-na.com and engie.com.

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