VEC CEO Rebecca Towne at Hinesburg battery installation for website

VEC, Partners, Celebrate Success of the Co-op’s First Utility-Scale Battery System

October 24, 2019

Hinesburg, Vt – Today Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) celebrated the success of its first utility–scale battery system at the battery site in Hinesburg.

VEC, along with project partners WEG Electric Corp. and Ormat Technologies, developed the battery system and installed it earlier this year, first deploying it this summer during peak events, when regional electricity demand was high. Over the past few months, the battery has helped save the co-op approximately $90,000 by allowing VEC to use stored power when demand peaks and power and transmission costs are highest.

“Energy storage will be a significant component of the grid of the future, and we’re proud to be using this technology today,” said Rebecca Towne, VEC’s chief executive officer. “Importantly, this project will also allow us to learn about how to effectively manage storage capacity and plan for future battery installations.”

While the main purpose of the new battery is to help VEC reduce peak loads, thereby reducing costs for VEC members, the battery will also reduce regional carbon emissions because during peak times the New England grid uses more fossil-fuel powered generators. The system will also help control the voltage and frequency of the region’s power grid, balancing electricity supply and consumption. VEC has deployed the battery several times since it was first connected to the grid on July 20. Since that time, VEC has been able reduce its load during the New England peak for the year and the Vermont peak in each of the months of August, September and October.

The battery will allow VEC to reduce load by one megawatt for up to four hours. That is about one percent of VEC’s total system peak. The system peak is the maximum amount all VEC members use at any one hour.

The battery project is a partnership among VEC, WEG and Ormat. WEG has been responsible for technical design, permitting, construction, battery supply and installation and on-going management. Ormat owns and operates the system.

The project sits on less than an acre of land and is an assemblage of batteries housed in two structures resembling freight shipping containers. The system is located adjacent to VEC’s substation at 1121 Pond Brook Road.