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Sterling project will offer clean energy storage

Oct 14, 2016

STERLING - Sterling is gearing up for a new energy project.

Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD) General Manager Sean Hamilton welcomed state and local representatives as well as members of a large team from various energy companies who were instrumental in designing and implementing the largest battery installation of its kind in New England, as part of the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, to a groundbreaking ceremony in Sterling on Oct. 12.

The 2-megawatt/3.9 megawatt-hour clean energy lithium ion battery storage system, housed at the Chocksett Road SMLD substation, will be able to isolate from the main power grid to provide up to 12 days of emergency back-up power to the Sterling Police Department station and dispatch center in the event of a power outage.

“The Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative project is a great opportunity for the Town of Sterling and the SMLD and will provide many hours of resiliency to the Sterling Police and dispatch center during major outages, and will also provide many benefits to the ratepayers of Sterling during periods it is not being used for emergencies,” Hamilton said.

Grant funds of $1,463,194 for the project was awarded to the town of Sterling by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources under the leadership of Judith Judson, and $250,000 in grant funds was provided by U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability under the direction of Dr. Imre Gyuk, working with Sandia National Laboratories.

NEC Energy Solutions, a locally-based Massachusetts company, has been contracted to supply, install, and commission the batteries energy storage system. The energy storage system is being assembled at NEC Energy Solutions headquarters in Westboro.

“It is nice to partner with a Massachusetts company on this energy storage project,” Hamilton said. “This project allows us to smooth our renewable resources when intermittent clouds affect production and also to buy power when it is low, store it, and then distribute it during periods of high demand when prices are higher.”

Construction on the project is slated to begin this fall and be fully operational by the end of the year. In addition to the power benefits, the town will also save on energy costs over the project’s lifespan due to the grid services the batteries will provide. Projected revenues from utilizing the batteries for grid services are expected to result in a payback of installed costs in less than seven years.

For project information, contact Hamilton at or visit

MAMEC note: watch a 9-minute video on this battery project here.