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January 18, 2022

PURA launches statewide electric power storage program

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED Eversource’s battery facility in Provincetown, Mass., will help the coastal community keep the power on if it loses connection to the central power grid.

State energy regulators are rolling out a new program designed to help Eversource Energy and United Illuminating customers install energy storage capacity at their homes and businesses.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority formally launched the “Energy Storage Solutions” initiative on the first of the year, in partnership with the Connecticut Green Bank, which will administer the program, Eversource and UI. End users will be eligible to receive incentives for setting up power storage devices, which can help make the broader power grid more resilient, especially at times when the system is under strain due to inclement weather.

PURA officials said the average upfront incentives for residential customers will initially be around $200 per kilowatt-hour, with a maximum per-project incentive of $7,500.

The maximum incentive for commercial and industrial customers will be capped at 50% of a power storage project’s cost.

Residential, commercial and industrial end users will all be eligible for performance incentive payments based on how much power their devices contribute to the grid during critical periods, and additional support will be made available for those who could benefit the most from increased resiliency measures, including low-income customers, customers in underserved communities, small businesses and customers who historically experience frequent or long-lasting power outages during storms.

Energy Storage Solutions is expected to run for at least nine years.

In a statement, PURA Chair Marissa P. Gillett said the initiative will help move Connecticut toward its goal of deploying 1,000 megawatts of energy storage by the end of 2030, a measure intended to increase the state grid’s resiliency and assist those who have been disproportionately impacted by past power system failures.

“The Green Bank, working in collaboration with the utilities, will help ensure that our families and businesses, especially those within vulnerable communities, access the important benefits that electric storage provides in terms of resilience and modernizing the grid,” Gillett said.

Gov. Ned Lamont, who signed the 1000 MW target into law in June 2021, also offered praise for the program.

“We are combating the climate crisis and building our economy by making investments that promote environmental justice, healthier communities, affordable energy and expanded jobs and opportunity,” the governor said. “Adding a statewide electric storage program to our toolkit will play a vital role in these efforts and I thank the entire PURA team and our legislative partners for their leadership on this initiative.”

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