Eversource is now offering some incredible storage battery incentives in New England

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
The electric utility Eversource that services a good chunk of New England is now offering some good demand response incentives. Under high demand electricity situations they pay you a generous amount to draw from your storage battery. The incentive varies by state but Massachusetts you get $225 per average kw used. According to the Tesla power wall website its more than enough to cover the battery in Massachusetts.

For example, a Powerwall paired with an 8 kW solar system in Massachusetts could create almost $12,000 in value - $3,200 from the federal tax credit, $4,800 from the SMART storage incentive and $3,850 from ConnectedSolutions – more than enough to cover the Powerwall’s price.


 
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DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,237
Central NY
Not criticizing the MA program, by any means - I think it is good that small, localized resources are incentivized to participate in demand-response programs insofar as this is how we manage demand.

But it still boggles my mind that we are willing to allow utilities to pay hundreds of dollars per MWh (10s of cents/kWh) to buy power from high-cost producers during periods of high electric demand rather than just charge accordingly to what the market price is for power at quarter hour or one hour intervals. If you are not going to use smart electric meters for something like that, I don't know why the PUCs allowed utilities to buy and install them and make their customers pay for them. And then the cost for this high-cost electricity is just factored into a levelized rate paid weeks or months later. It's just about the dumbest thing ever.

Imagine if you went to a store to buy 2 liter bottles of Coke or Pepsi and they were selling for $1.49 each. Except that demand far outstripped supply, and the store just kept selling them for $1.49 each, as much as they could get. To reduce demand, the grocery store found the biggest buyers of Coke or Pepsi and paid a lot of money to buy less 2 liter bottles of the stuff. Then 3 months later, the grocery store price goes up to $1.89 each even though there is now a surplus supply, because the grocery store needs to recoup the money it paid to its biggest Coke/Pepsi customers to reduce their demand when there was a shortage. Electricity pricing and supply-demand management is literally that stupid.
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
I drive by the oil fired New Haven Harbor power plant everyday. Its a peaker plant that is on standby and only used during high demand in summer and when natural gas pipelines are constrained in severe cold. I can tell when its running from its steam output. This plant sits idle probably 98% of the year. When it does fire up you can look on ISO New England and see what it's getting per MWH. I have seen it selling power for the thousands per MWH in high demand in the summer.

Paying to use batteries has to be cheaper than idling a massive oil fired power plant most of the year that charges thousands per kwh.

According to the Eversource data high demand events that would require drawing from your battery would happen around 3% of the year. They also have restrictions to not draw from your battery during storms and other events to leave you with backup power.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
535
SE North Carolina
YEARLY EARNINGS
How much you earn is based on the average kW your battery contributes per event. A typical home battery could contribute an average of 5 kW per event. This would earn $1,125 for the summer season and $250 for the winter season.

Different batteries can contribute different amounts during events, and your battery must perform in accordance to your interconnection agreement. Additionally, some manufacturers may collect a portion of the incentive payment. Please contact your battery manufacturer or installer for more information about your battery's expected contribution and what, if any, portion of the incentive they collect.

bolding mine.
I wonder how much they get
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,453
Downeast Maine
This is interesting and I do agree that there is some unscrupulous bookkeeping happening to justify all of this on paper. Sounds like the consumers will ultimately suffer. If the utility company is buying the power from you for such high rates, they must be selling it for even more. Making a profit off of your neighbors when they need the power the most is hardly a good thing.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
535
SE North Carolina
If you need to add peaking capacity and someone else pays for the infrastructure even if you loose money on the power you are buying then selling, you could still be money ahead. Our power company gives us 25$ a year credit to install a remotely operated switch on our AC/heatpump. I think they can cut off our AC for up to three hours in any 24 hour period for some shortish time period. I think they have it they can do it certain number of time a year. Why keep an old peaking station running if you can manage peak load in other ways. When I was at UMaine on peaking summer days They would run emergency generators for a couple hours. Not sure if it was carrot or stick incentive. I think it was the stick if they used more than a set amount of power.
We have the option of usage time rate billing. I ran the numbers and couldn’t save money with a family. I see issues with demand rate billing for residential customers as many of them probably don’t understand it that well.
Evan
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,237
Central NY
I see issues with demand rate billing for residential customers as many of them probably don’t understand it that well.
Agreed. The recent issues in Texas is that the cap on the per kWh cost was ridiculously high - $9/kWh. I realize that the consumers who signed up for their Griddy contracts (Griddy = the TX electricity provider that is passing on these high rates) probably should have read the fine print, but realistically nobody does that and/or can't believe that anyone would ever stick them with a monthly power bill of thousands of dollars.

But for some consumers it could work, and if properly restricted (admittedly, a full cost of, for example, $1/kWh could not be passed along if power rates were $1000/MWh), but even doubling or tripling of rates would get people to do some simple common-sense things if they new it was happening and/or had a few hours to prepare for it.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
553
Eastern Long Island NY
If the utility company is buying the power from you for such high rates, they must be selling it for even more.
Not necessarily; maybe the utilities are buying power from you at a very high rate to avoid buying power from others at an even higher rate - and, as DBoon says they may still be selling it low (at a loss) at that time as the rates charged to consumers don't fluctuate as much.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
As cool as this is, I definitely think there is an argument to be made that the funds from these rebates would be put to better use building a grid scale battery instead.
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
Not necessarily; maybe the utilities are buying power from you at a very high rate to avoid buying power from others at an even higher rate - and, as DBoon says they may still be selling it low (at a loss) at that time as the rates charged to consumers don't fluctuate as much.
They are getting a deal compared to keeping an oil fired peaker power plant idle for like 98% of the year. When they do fire it up the cost per megawatt can approach $1k compared to the usual price of $50-100 mwh. You can see the prices and fuel mix live on the ISO New England website.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,453
Downeast Maine
They are getting a deal compared to keeping an oil fired peaker power plant idle for like 98% of the year. When they do fire it up the cost per megawatt can approach $1k compared to the usual price of $50-100 mwh. You can see the prices and fuel mix live on the ISO New England website.
Someone else just mentioned ISO in another thread today. I find it fascinating. Do they break it down by state? I'm trying to find if a certain plant near me is operational or not.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
I am not aware of power generation being broken down by state for public use . A lot of info dropped off the net after September 11th. There used to be some pretty detailed transmission maps for free on the net. They got pulled down but they a readily available for a fee from several services.

If someone is up to no good, knowing which plants are and are not running is potentially a bad thing,thus its not available to the public. It also can impact the bidding process.

Pretty easy to tell if a plant is running, go by on a cold morning and there will be stack plume.
 
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Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
66
Western MA
YEARLY EARNINGS
How much you earn is based on the average kW your battery contributes per event. A typical home battery could contribute an average of 5 kW per event. This would earn $1,125 for the summer season and $250 for the winter season.

Different batteries can contribute different amounts during events, and your battery must perform in accordance to your interconnection agreement. Additionally, some manufacturers may collect a portion of the incentive payment. Please contact your battery manufacturer or installer for more information about your battery's expected contribution and what, if any, portion of the incentive they collect.

bolding mine.
I wonder how much they get
Tesla takes 20%.

To be realistic, or maybe a bit conservative, I tell my customers who are interested in Powerwall to expect $500 - $600 per battery per year from Connected Solutions. Those numbers published on the website are definitely high, especially considering Tesla taking their 20% cut.
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
426
Southern New Hampshire
I'm on Eversource in New Hampshire. Could I just install a battery without a solar array? And sell the grid's power right back to them at peak usage times? Have not looked into a installation cost and payback time on the battery. We already have a whole-house propane backup generator for outages
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
The SMART incentives are only for Mass generators. I think Northern Utilities is or was trialing a battery program for Tesla Powerwalls and possibly doing a Bring Your Own battery program. But NH doesnt have the Clean Peak goal that Mass does. Tesla is very good at sniffing out which markets make the most revenue and my guess is Mass is the place.

Despite their advertising Eversource tends to be real conservative with their energy efficiency programs, NU is far more progressive. Eversource is in league with the governors hand picked PUC do whatever then can to keep SRECS prices low.

I think the big regional renewable producers with access to the high voltage grid can participate in the Mass battery market but little guys cannot. I have heard of a big battery install proposed in Berlin for Brookfield power and also one in the Millinocket area.
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
Here are the current rates from the Solaredge website. It appears Eversource in New Hampshire is running the program.

Rhode Island has a pretty crazy incentive at $400 kw.
Screenshot_20210223-105512_Chrome.jpg
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
Tesla takes 20%.

To be realistic, or maybe a bit conservative, I tell my customers who are interested in Powerwall to expect $500 - $600 per battery per year from Connected Solutions. Those numbers published on the website are definitely high, especially considering Tesla taking their 20% cut.
I have had a Solaredge system for the last 4 years and read through their connected solutions website. It appears they don't take a cut. I'm meeting my solar installer soon to get a quote.

 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
My sister is looking is looking into solar in the Boston area. I put her address in Tesla's solar website just to see what the pricing is. The site is great as it shows you all the incentives.

After the state and federal rebate she could get a 12.24 system and 3 powerwalls for $13,298. Just the 12.24 system would be $6897 or .56 a watt.

If your in Massachusetts with good sun potential this is an insanely cheap price for solar. The state incentive is over 10k!

Screenshot_20210220-054753_Chrome.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,564
South Puget Sound, WA
The SMART solar package is one heck of an incentive.
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
585
Branford, CT
The SMART solar package is one heck of an incentive.
I believe all the New England states either have laws or legislative orders to be carbon free by 2050. These incentives are funded off charges on gas and electric bills. Last time I checked it was like 7% of the bill. There is insane money being poured into solar, battery, and heat pumps through incentives. The fund in CT is absolutely flush with cash. They have one that started this year that will pay $10k towards insulating your house.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,962
SW Virginia
My sister is looking is looking into solar in the Boston area. I put her address in Tesla's solar website just to see what the pricing is. The site is great as it shows you all the incentives.

After the state and federal rebate she could get a 12.24 system and 3 powerwalls for $13,298. Just the 12.24 system would be $6897 or .56 a watt.

If your in Massachusetts with good sun potential this is an insanely cheap price for solar. The state incentive is over 10k!

View attachment 275285
Here's what I was quoted in Virginia - big difference in incentives.
1614185865206.png
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,564
South Puget Sound, WA
I believe all the New England states either have laws or legislative orders to be carbon free by 2050. These incentives are funded off charges on gas and electric bills. Last time I checked it was like 7% of the bill. There is insane money being poured into solar, battery, and heat pumps through incentives. The fund in CT is absolutely flush with cash. They have one that started this year that will pay $10k towards insulating your house.
That makes sense in that often the easiest path to reducing energy consumption is to reduce waste.