Peabody and MMWEC (Ma. Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.) have come a long way to embrace renewable battery storage. During meetings in 2020 about SP2015A, the third gas-and-oil burning generator off Pulaski Street, battery storage was nixed as an alternative to. building new $85 million fossil fuel infrastructure.
Both MMWEC and PMLP officials stated during public meetings that batteries are not a feasible replacement for the proposed plant because batteries are expensive, require more space than is available and would fail to provide adequate reliability to the electric grid.
“MMWEC said that batteries would not work for Peabody because there was not enough room on the site,” said Jane Dye of CHEF, Citizens for Holden’s Energy Future. “Our response was “What? Batteries don’t have to all be in the same place. Spread them around to different MLPs (muncipial light plants).”
That’s what’s happening. Fourteen MMWEC communities, including Peabody, have partnered wiith MMWEC and Delorean Power LLC (Delorean), a Virginia-based, energy storage project developer, owner and operator. The first 5MW battery energy storage facility is planned in Holden Mass.
PMLP’s website includes information about a utility battery storage facility. “Battery Storage reduces our bulk power costs by allowing us to store power when it is cheaper for us to buy (during non-peak times), and then to use the battery to shave the peak which helps to reduce stress on the bulk power system and reduces PMLP’s transmission and capacity costs. This will be a collaborative project with MMWEC, and is targeted to be installed on PMLP’s property at 201 Warren Street Ext.” https://pmlp.com/224/Current-Projects
The resulting shift in energy demand from on-peak to off-peak hours will lead to significant cost and environmental benefits for customers in the 14 communities involved. But, Peabody’s customers will also see a reduction in air pollution since our three oil-and-gas burning peaker plants should run less.
The energy storage project is the first in a series that Delorean has developed with facilitation from MMWEC. In late 2022, Delorean won an exclusive partnership to build similar energy storage projects across the state with many expected to finish construction by the end of 2024.