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Eversource Tests New Mobile Batteries for Backup Emergency Power

SPRINGFIELD — As part of Eversource’s commitment to advancing clean technologies and exploring innovative ways to help the Commonwealth achieve its decarbonization goals, the company is testing a mobile battery energy storage system (MBESS) as a zero-carbon backup power source.

As part of its MBESS pilot program, the energy company now has two mobile batteries that it is strategically deploying across its Massachusetts service territory, including in environmental-justice communities, to provide power to customers while its crews make upgrades or repairs to the electric system that would otherwise require a power outage. Eversource is also charging one of the batteries using a solar array at its Springfield Area Work Center, further enhancing the clean-energy applications of the technology.

“The mobile batteries are passing our tests with flying colors, and we are excited about the many benefits it will provide to our customers as a quiet, carbon-free solution to ensure reliable service while we conduct critical work on the system,” Eversource Director of Distribution Engineering Umair Zia said. “We’ve field-tested the MBESS, bringing it to a site where we’d previously used diesel-power generators for backup power, and the mobile battery provided power for 18 hours at a time, quietly, with no emissions. It can also be recharged using our solar panels at our area work centers, making this a truly sustainable solution to enhance service for our customers.”

Mobile batteries produce no exhaust fumes, and, unlike diesel generators, the MBESS operates virtually silently. Also, by eliminating noise, batteries can facilitate clearer communication between workers on construction job sites or disaster-relief efforts. The MBESS can also be swapped out for recharging and save money previously spent on diesel fuel to power generators. One new 500 kilowatt-hour mobile battery can, for example, charge a 50-home neighborhood for four hours. The current plan is to have two mobile batteries at the Springfield Area Work Center for deployment.