Massachusetts has high energy costs, and just 10% of the hours per year, the peak hours when consumers are using the most, account for 40% of Massachusetts’ electric energy costs. The electricity generated during these few days also comes from the highest-emission power plants. DOER is working to reduce the amount of energy used at times of peak demand in order to reduce the cost of energy to consumers and minimize the amount of greenhouse gases associated with our energy use.
Program Description and Awardees
The Peak Demand Reduction Grant Program is a $4.68 million DOER initiative designed to test strategies for reducing Massachusetts’ energy usage at times of peak demand. $1.975 million was awarded to fund projects designed to defer investment in energy transmission and distribution systems. An additional $2.71 million will be used to fund projects designed to address all aspects of peak demand reduction including transmission and distribution investment, wholesale capacity markets, and customer demand charges.
The grant awardees are:
- B2Q - $478,688 – Will work with National Grid to aggregate an energy portfolio in municipal buildings in the City of Medford to create a complete dispatchable demand reduction resource. This model could be replicated by any municipality in the Commonwealth.
- eCurv - $179,500 - Will work with Eversource to design an easily scalable model of peak electricity demand reduction for big-box retail stores, demonstrating on four Kohl’s sites in MA.
- Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) - $162,210 - (with National Grid), will evaluate consumer attitudes toward and acceptance of using connected devices for peak demand reduction.
- Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) - $200,708 – (with National Grid), will design, deploy and measure a small gas demand reduction program to assess the potential for and value of gas demand reduction at large.
- Genbright - $600,000 - Will demonstrate the ability to capture up to 6 value streams at retail and wholesale levels, including from peak demand reduction, by deploying behind-the-meter battery storage at a manufacturing site.
- Genbright - $1,500,000 - Will utilize thermal energy storage at residential sites for peak demand reductions on Nantucket. The project aims to demonstrate a non-wires alternative (NWA) to investment in a third undersea transmission cable to the island.
- Holyoke Gas and Electric (HGE) - $475,000 – Will install a grid-scale lithium-ion battery on a distribution feeder served from one of their substations. They will operate the battery for distribution peak demand management. UMass Amherst will analyze the performance of the battery and quantify the peak demand reduction value of the equipment for use by other utility companies.
- Sagewell - $98,000 - Will work with at least two municipal electric companies to demonstrate aggregated peak electricity demand reduction through off-peak electric vehicle charging.
- Tesla - $996,455 – Will demonstrate aggregated energy storage for peak demand reduction in National Grid territory. Tesla will work to quantify the benefits of the demonstrated peak demand reductions and evaluate the model’s viability at scale.