In partnership with Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E), Citizens Energy Corporation flipped the switch on The Martin J. Dunn Energy Center on July 29, 2021. Located on Water Street across from HG&E’s North Canal Substation, the Energy Center consists of a 4.9 megawatt (10 megawatt-hour) Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). The system is the most recent addition to HG&E’s strategic peak shaving program and will help keep utility rates stable, protecting customers from the potential volatility of energy markets.
The BESS will be directly interconnected to HG&E's grid and will charged during low demand periods, when energy costs are low. This stored power will be called upon during local and regional peak load periods to cost-effectively lower demand, while reducing utility costs and demand charges for customers. Demand charges are incurred for electricity and capacity taken from the power grid and used during peak demand periods.
The Energy Center is named after Holyoke’s late Mayor and State Senator, Martin “Marty” J. Dunn. In 2018, Dunn connected leadership from Citizens Energy Corporation and HG&E to discuss innovative energy opportunities for the City of Holyoke. This project is a direct result of Marty’s efforts, as he continuously tried to make Holyoke a great place to live and work.
“Marty Dunn was a friend to all of us at Citizens Energy and to the citizens of Holyoke,” said Kennedy, Citizens Energy Vice President of Business Development. “This project will serve as a reminder of the hard work he put in over his years of public service to improve the lives of everyone in Holyoke for decades to come.”
“Marty had an unprecedented commitment to the City of Holyoke and served the community in a variety of critical roles throughout his life,” said Jim Lavelle, HG&E’s Manager. “The benefits of this system will have long-lasting impacts on the City of Holyoke, as will Marty’s legacy.”
The Martin J. Dunn Energy Center is HG&E’s second BESS collaboration. Mt. Tom Energy Storage System was HG&E’s first BESS partnership, and it was the largest utility-scale battery in the state of Massachusetts when it was commissioned in 2018 by ENGIE North America.
Today, HG&E has a total battery storage capacity of approximately 8 MW/16 MWh.