RMLD Awarded $1M Grant for Energy Storage Project

Picture taken at awards ceremony held at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital. From Left to Right: Tom Ollila, RMLD; Coleen O’Brien, RMLD; Governor Charlie Baker; Hamid Haffari, RMLD; Jane Parenteau, RMLD; Commissioner Judith Judson, DOER

Reading, MA –- Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) was recently awarded a $1 million grant for the installation of an energy storage unit at its North Reading substation to support “shredding the peak.” The grant is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) program, funded by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The grants were announced by Governor Baker during an event at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital on December 7, 2017.

RMLD’s project consists of installing a 5-megawatt Lithium Ion Battery unit at its North Reading substation to reduce peak demand, thereby lowering future transmission and capacity costs related to the purchase of wholesale electricity. Transmission and capacity costs are determined by our total system load during critical peak times when the electrical grid is most stressed. The battery unit will be co-located with RMLD’s new 2.5-megawatt Distributed Generator, which was also installed to help “shred the peak.”

“The RMLD is honored to have received this award providing us the opportunity to add this type of renewable energy technology to the peak demand portion of our power supply portfolio,” said Coleen O’Brien, General Manager. “We’d like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for offering this innovative program and for selecting RMLD for this outstanding award. We’d also like to thank Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Bradley Jones, Representative James Dwyer, Senator Thomas McGee, and Senator Jason Lewis for supporting RMLD’s grant application.” 

The Baker-Polito Administration launched the Energy Storage Initiative in May 2015 with the goal of advancing the energy storage segment of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry. Energy storage technologies are expected to positively impact the energy market in a number of ways such as: reducing costs for consumers by storing energy during off peak hours when costs are low and using the stored energy during peak periods when costs are at their highest; providing resiliency and reliability to the electric grid; and expanding the use of intermittent renewables such as solar by storing energy generated during the day for use at night.

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