By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Leahy Conference Room in UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital was filled with enthusiasm Dec. 7 when Gov. Charlie Baker awarded $20 million in grants to 26 projects that will develop the state’s energy storage market. The awarded projects will combine the public money with $32 million in private matching funds.
In addition to hosting the event, Marlborough Hospital received a grant for $686,000 to integrate a 400-kilometer solar canopy and energy storage system, reduce energy use and costs, trim its peak demand and increase its overall resilience.
The ceremony was emceed by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton He described energy storage as “a technology that has amazing promise.”
Baker launched the Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) in 2015 with an initial $10 million commitment. Funds were increased based on the number of quality grant proposals.
“We decided to double it to $20 million,” Baker noted.
Steve Pike, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MCEC), discussed how awarded projects will test 14 business models.
“A goal is to find the next great business model for energy storage… not just for here in Massachusetts, but throughout the country,” he said.
As part of the administration’s ESI, the MCEC and the Department of Energy Resources (DER) sought proposals for energy storage demonstration projects as part of the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage program. Sixty-nine proposals were received and deemed “all outstanding” by DER Commissioner Judith Judson. She also noted the value of a solar canopy at Marlborough Hospital because a power outage would be a safety issue.
“Our mission is to create a clean, affordable, resilient energy future for the commonwealth,” Judson said. “Energy storage has the potential to be a game-changer for doing all three.”
Elected officials congratulated Marlborough Hospital for receiving a grant and hosting the ceremony. State Reps. Carmine Gentile (D-Sudbury) and Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) each expressed that they’re looking forward to attending the future ribbon-cutting for its solar canopy. Commenting that he was born at Marlborough Hospital, Mayor Arthur Vigeant added, “They’re a great asset to the city of Marlborough.”
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.