This 1 MWac rooftop solar installation, with a 1 MW/2 MWh energy storage system, delivers an annual base load of 1.7 MWh and represents the first true community solar plus storage installation in Massachusetts.
Considerable teamwork, collaboration and urgency was needed by the numerous parties involved in order to make the aggressive in-service date. It was developed and is owned by Origis Energy, delivering power and storage benefits to SMLD through a Power Purchase Agreement. Residential SMLD customers are able to participate in a subscription based community solar program utilizing the guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
“We have achieved our goal with the Sterling Community Solar + Energy Storage project of competitive electricity rates by tapping the grid benefits of battery storage technology.” – Sean Hamilton, (then) Manager, SMLD
One year from the installation of the Sterling Solar plus Storage Community project, local media reported on the progress for this and a second site the City installed later in June. Sterling Light Storage Units Mark Milestone by The Telegram, reports the initial Origis Energy project has helped the small city save more than $500,000 in system costs in year one.
In early 2018, SMLD teamed up with Origis Energy to develop the first community solar-plus-storage project in the state. The project paired a 1-megawatt, 2-megawatt-hour energy storage system with a 1-megawatt community solar project. The battery is energized exclusively by the solar system.
By the time MMWEC began remotely dispatching SMLD’s second energy storage system in June 2018, the utility had already avoided more than $500,000 in costs by strategically dispatching its first battery during peak usage periods. MMWEC has been successful in calling the peak with 100 percent accuracy. Today, both systems cumulatively have saved the light department over $1 million.
The challenge was to provide SMLD with an adequately-sized community solar + storage project located on a particular circuit in their service territory to allow for reduced bills for their ratepayers as well as providing for demand charge reduction benefits for the Municipality.
This project needed to acquire all necessary land rights, be designed, permitted, and constructed in less than six months – including challenging winter weather.
The project was dedicated in a community event, April 17, 2018.
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