WESTMORELAND — Eversource wants to install a large ion battery and offer financial incentives to Westmoreland residents and businesses in an effort to reduce power outages and promote clean energy.
The $7 million battery project would avoid spending $6 million to build a 10-mile distribution circuit to improve reliability.
Other cost savings, such as Eversource buying less power at peak times, could lead to an ultimate savings for ratepayers statewide, according to Eversource spokesman William Hinkle.
Part of the effort is to provide financial incentives for customers in the Westmoreland area to purchase Wi-Fi thermostats, electrical vehicle chargers or other devices to be used during peak energy demand.
Using such devices during hot summer days when electricity prices spike means “we don’t have to purchase as much energy on the market, so theoretically, it drives the cost down for all consumers,” Hinkle said.
The incentives would fall under a statewide “Bring Your Own Device” program that would be administered through the existing NHSaves energy efficiency program.
Westmoreland is served by a single power line, so the area is more prone to outages.
A 1.7-megawatt battery would help ensure continued service during emergencies to nearly 450 residential customers, businesses and critical buildings, such as the fire station and elementary school. The large battery would provide back-up power for up to four hours.
“Not only will this provide important electrical reliability benefits for the town and our citizens, it puts us on the cutting edge of our state’s clean energy future,” Town Administrator Jo Ann Labarre said in a statement.
If the project is approved, construction could start in late 2020 and the project could become operational in 2021.
“At Eversource, we’re focused on innovative solutions to better serve our customers, make the system more resilient to extreme weather, and advance affordable clean energy in New Hampshire,” Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan said in a statement.