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Eversource Outer Cape Battery Energy Storage System

First-of-its Kind Community Battery Energy Storage System is Making Cape Cod's Electric Grid Cleaner and More Resilient

TRC partnered with Eversource and the Town of Provincetown, MA to develop a utility-scale battery energy storage system that will help outer Cape Cod maintain power during severe weather-caused outages. The project, a 25 MW/38MWh energy-storage-driven microgrid, went live in September 2022. The project is among the first of its kind in the country and sets a new standard for utility climate resiliency solutions.

The town of Provincetown, MA sits on the very tip of Cape Cod, and its beautiful seaside location has made it a world-famous tourist destination. Its unique geography, however, makes it a challenge for the utility serving Cape Cod, Eversource, to maintain power during severe storm events.

The Challenge: Grid Resiliency and Cost-Effectiveness

Eversource has made a commitment to be an industry leader in energy efficiency and clean power transformation. Eversource was faced with a unique set of challenges in safeguarding reliable electricity supply to Provincetown and neighboring towns:

  • Geographic vulnerability: due to a single distribution line running along the low-lying Outer Cape, the towns are uniquely susceptible to power outages from ocean storms and other severe weather.
  • Regional emissions reduction goals: Massachusetts has passed a Global Warming Solutions Act that establishes a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050.
  • Economic and environmental costs: hardening the power line to Provincetown would require the costly construction of 13 miles of distribution line, much of it through the environmentally sensitive Cape Cod National Seashore.

The Solution: Utility-Scale Battery Storage

Eversource brought on TRC to support the development of a utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) as a demonstration project; the goal of the project is to determine whether a BESS can serve as a non-wired solution to these challenges. The BESS would function as the primary power source for a larger microgrid, allowing Provincetown to be self-sufficient without utility power for 1.5-3 hours at the anticipated average peak of the town. In a successful demonstration of the project, the microgrid was able to power Provincetown for just short of an hour.

The lithium-ion, 25 MW/38 MWH battery system will help to modernize Cape Cod’s grid by improving distribution system reliability, deferring new construction of transmission and distribution lines, and reducing load on existing circuits. The system will help to offset high electric demand from the grid during summer months, when tourism peaks. Combined, these benefits make the BESS a cost-effective resiliency solution that benefits both the community and the utility.

Steps to Implementation

TRC has supported Eversource with the development of the Provincetown BESS since 2018, providing technical advisory services including site selection and evaluation, environmental permitting and hearing support, geotechnical investigation, engineering and contracting support, building and site design, and system study evaluations. TRC project leaders Mark Lorentzen, Alex Tang, and Colin Duncan supported Eversource through the multi-year development of the BESS. Technology and contracting partners on the project included NEC/LG, Lawrence-Lynch, and McPhee Electric.

The Eversource Provincetown BESS system, completed and safety-tested for operation in 2022, is one of the first large-scale microgrids of its kind, owned and operated by a utility for the benefit and protection of its customers. This unique community battery will bring long-term benefits in improving reliability, increasing the ability to bring distributed energy resources onto the distribution grid, and providing support during peak load periods. TRC is proud to have contributed to this important project which reduces emissions and makes local communities more resilient to climate-based risks.

“We are proud to have collaborated with Eversource in delivering this first-of-its-kind, utility-scale battery installation – which can now serve as a model for the integration of resilient energy storage across Eversource’s power grid. Projects like this are important on a national scale, as grid-integrated storage will be key to maintaining power quality and resiliency as part of climate change adaptation.”

Mark Lorentzen, TRC Senior Vice President, Advanced Energy

For more information, visit: Eversource news

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