Association of Edison Illuminating Companies
Steve Hauser is CEO of Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.
Faced with difficulties in implementing traditional solutions to improving reliability for customers on the weather-prone outer Cape Cod region of Massachusetts, Eversource, an AEIC member company, developed an innovative solution to deploy a microgrid on a thirteen-mile circuit with a battery as the sole source of supply.
The outer Cape Cod region extends into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts and serves approximately eleven thousand customers. This unique geography creates repeated reliability challenges due to its proximity to harsh Atlantic winds and year-round difficult weather conditions.
Customers on the outer Cape are served by a single, thirteen-mile, overhead three-phase distribution line. As a popular summer destination, load on the circuit can reach twenty-two megawatts relative to an average of eight megawatts.
The traditional solution to providing a back-up supply to the area would have been to build an additional thirteen-mile distribution line from Wellfleet to Provincetown. This would have required construction through a substantial portion of the Cape Cod National Seashore with potential environmental impacts and significant cost for customers.
As an alternative, Eversource chose to construct the Outer Cape Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), a 24.9-MW/38-MWh lithium-ion battery system as the sole source of supply for a microgrid back to the substation.