Over 10,000 people live on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. To deal with electricity demand and replace old diesel generators, National Grid is turning to Tesla. They plan to install a 48 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system (BESS) provided by Elon Musk’s company.
Two submarine cables currently power the small island, with two six megawatt (MW) diesel generators as backups should a cable fail. But National Grid said the diesel generators are old and have to be replaced. They’re solving the problem with the BESS and a new diesel generator. Electrek said a 48 MWh system will require more than 200 of Tesla’s Powerpacks, so it will be one of the largest energy storage projects Tesla has tackled so far.
With the demand for electricity, and considering the growth forecast, National Grid said Nantucket’s backup systems had to be expanded, and they had originally expected a third submarine cable would be necessary in around 12 years. But thanks to the BESS, they think they can delay the third cable for 15 to 20 years past the 12-year forecast. President of National Grid’s FERC Regulated Businesses and New Energy Solutions Rudy Wynter described the BESS as an effective and efficient solution.
The town of Nantucket’s energy coordinator Lauren Sinatra said in a statement, “We are confident that the proposed project, combined with targeted energy-savings programs and other planned electric infrastructure upgrades, will play a transformational role in meeting Nantucket’s near- and long-term energy needs.”
Tesla has been busy moving the clean power revolution forward. They’ve made progress on the biggest battery installation in the world: the 100 MW/129 MWh battery system in Australia. They’ve also been among the companies responding to Puerto Rico’s electricity crisis following Hurricane Maria, with Powerwalls and solar power at a children’s hospital.