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Eversource Battery Energy Storage System Begins Providing Backup Power to Customers in Provincetown

Sept. 16, 2022
First-in-the-nation project of its size and scope will provide significant system reliability upgrades for several Outer Cape communities.

As part of an ongoing effort to modernize its electric system and improve system reliability for customers, Eversource Energy announced the completion of testing on the battery for the Outer Cape Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The battery is now able to serve Provincetown and when called upon, can begin providing backup electricity to the 5700 customers in town during power outages.

The recent completion of rigorous testing on the BESS marks a major milestone for the implementation of the groundbreaking project, which is the first single battery in the nation to power a micro-grid of this size. Designed by company engineers in collaboration with several partners to deploy state-of-the-art technology, it is also the first such battery in the region and is the first battery project for Eversource.

“The Battery Energy Storage System in Provincetown is one of Eversource’s most innovative and exciting projects to modernize the grid, improve reliability and help deliver the benefits of a sustainable energy future to our customers,” said Joe Nolan, president and CEO, Eversource. “As those on the Outer Cape know all too well from recent firsthand experiences, we’re seeing more unpredictable and extreme storms across our region with the changing climate that have the potential to cause significant damage to the electric system, and we can’t wait to fully complete this project that enhances reliability for our local customers.”

The battery, which is housed at the Provincetown transfer station, will always be on and connected to the grid fully charged, ready to automatically provide backup power within moments of an outage to the approximately 10,200 customers currently served by a single 13-mile distribution line. The BESS is an innovative solution to complex issue that avoids the need for a second distribution line along the same route as the existing line, which would have required significant construction through the Cape Cod National Seashore and could have posed environmental concerns.

“We’re excited that this battery system is now operational and able to directly benefit Provincetown’s residents and businesses by providing backup electricity during outages,” said Alex B. Morse, Provincetown town manager. “This new system will greatly improve the reliability of our power and electricity, particularly in times of severe storms affecting the Outer Cape, and we appreciate the partnership with Eversource that made this possible.”  

The battery also helps to stabilize voltage along the current distribution line, which improves the flow of electricity to homes and businesses along the Outer Cape. Once fully completed later this year, additional system upgrades will help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages for those customers.“

Our team recognizes the unique challenges on the Outer Cape, which is why the next phase of this project includes system upgrades that will expand the capabilities and benefits of the battery system to our customers in North Truro, Truro, and Wellfleet,” said Jen Schilling, vice-president for grid modernization, Eversource.

“We are building out a new microgrid with distribution autonomation and smart switching technologies that can greatly reduce the durations of an outage and the number of customers impacted.” The BESS was first approved by the Massachusetts of Department of Public Utilities (D.P.U. 17-05) in 2017 as the best, most cost-effective and least disruptive option for Eversource’s Outer Cape customers. For more information on Eversource’s efforts to enhance reliability for customers and build the infrastructure needed to deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across its service territory, visit Eversource.com.

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