Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
At a Glance
Energy or Utility
Colleen Metelitsa looked at the viability of implementing energy storage technologies at MWRA facilities.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority spends around $17 million a year on electricity to provide wholesale water and sewer services to 2.5 million people and 5,500 industrial users. MWRA enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Colleen Metelitsa to review the technical and economic feasibility of integrating energy storage in MWRA’s operations for reducing electricity demand charges and GHG emissions.
Colleen conducted an analysis of incorporating storage--plus solar if possible-- for peak shaving. After collecting and analyzing monthly billing data from 57 MWRA facilities and interviewing operations staff, she identified 16 sites with the greatest potential. Colleen then built a model to simulate the storage performance based on 5-minute interval data for each site. Three pump stations rose to the top as the best candidates for batteries, but with no incentives, none were economic under current prices. However, when a 30% incentive or equivalent price drop are incorporated into the analysis, all three become potential candidates.
Colleen also completed a more qualitative analysis, which examined ways for improving resiliency to power outages at MWRA’s facilities. After speaking with operations, it became clear that replacing MWRA’s existing diesel generators with storage was not possible because it would be too large and expensive. Ultimately, Colleen identified the potential for using energy storage as a 10-minute bridge between power outages and diesel generator start-up at the largest site, where even a small outage has significant impacts on wastewater flows through the system.
Colleen provided MWRA with a report on today’s energy storage market, the top three facilities for incorporating energy storage for peak shaving, a plan for increasing resiliency at their largest site, and a road map for next steps for submitting a Request for Information on those two specific projects. Moving forward, MWRA can follow Colleen’s plan to ensure that the first pilot project can be implemented as soon as the economics become viable.