What is a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)?
Battery storage is a technology that enables power system operators and utilities to store energy for later use. A battery energy storage system (BESS) is an electrochemical device that charges (or collects energy) from the grid or a power plant and then discharges that energy at a later time to provide electricity or other grid services when needed. Several battery chemistries are available or under investigation for grid-scale applications, including lithium-ion, lead-acid, redox flow, and molten salt (including sodium-based chemistries).
Definition taken from Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) NREL Energy Storage Fact Sheet. NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy19osti/74426.pdf
May 2021 Town Meeting Vote - The May 10, 2021 Town Meeting voted to direct the Planning and Economic Development Board to conduct a review and study of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and to engage the services of consultants and other experts as may be necessary to provide information on all aspects of the operation, safety, security and technology of such systems, including the economic impact of a BESS facility if located in the Town of Medway, with a report to be completed by October 15, 2021 of the Board’s findings and recommendations, to include but not be limited to, consideration to potential amendments to the Zoning By-Law.
November 2021 Town Meeting Vote - The November 15, 2021 Town Meeting voted to establish a moratorium (until 6-30-2023) on the establishment of battery energy storage facilities in Medway's Energy Resource zoning district.
Next Steps – In response to the Town Meeting vote, the Planning and Economic Development Board sought the services of such consultants and experts. At its May 25, 2021 meeting, The Board approved the following preliminary scope of services for a consultant(s) to conduct the above noted research, findings and recommendations. We expect this scope will be further refined.
- Organized and facilitated a series of public educational briefings for the PEDB and the community by industry experts on various aspects of BESS including but not limited to types of BESS systems, types of energy to be stored; siting; operations; safety and applicable codes; construction best practices; on-going maintenance requirements; community and environmental impacts including risk profiles based on proximity; liability; performance security; training and equipment needs for local emergency personnel; battery removal, recycling and disposal; post construction operations monitoring and inspections; mitigation measures, etc.
- Assisted the PEDB to evaluate possible Medway locations for BESS facilities.
- Interviewed communities which have already gone through a BESS permitting process, construction and operation to identify lessons learned
- Provided resource information including guidance from state and federal agencies and professional and industry organizations
- Assisted the PEDB to conduct a series of community input sessions to take public testimony
- Prepared a report of findings and recommendations
The Board also sought technical assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). https://www.pnnl.gov/ as it organizes this research process.
Petition - Medway Grid, LLC has filed a petition with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board to construct a 250MW/500 MWh stand-alone Battery Energy Storage Facility, including a new electric substation, on 10.6 acres of land at 49, 53, and 55 Milford Street. The project will also include a 345kV underground transmission line interconnection to Eversource Energy's existing West Medway station. The petition, along with attachments and related documents, can be found HERE.
Along with the peition, Medway Grid, LLC has also filed a Chapter 40a Filing with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, requesting an exemption from the operation of the Town of Medway Zoning Bylaws. The materials for this filing can be found HERE.
Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) - As required under Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Medway Grid, LLC filed an EENF with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) on January 28, 2022. Click HERE to view the comment letter dated March 10, 2022 from the Medway Department of Community and Economic Development to EOEEA Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides, regarding the Medway Grid project. Click HERE to view the EENF Certificate issued March 18, 2022 by EOEEA Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides.
Best Practices Presentation - On February 16, 2022, Arup, the Town's BESS consultant, gave a presentation on Best Practices for Medway's Battery Energy Storage Systems. To view the BESS Best Practices Summary, click here. To view the presentation, click here.
Zoning Regulations Presentation - On March 17, 2022, Arup, the Town's BESS consultant, gave a presentation about recommended technical language to include in possible zoning bylaw provisions regarding BESS facilities. To view the report, click here.
BESS Siting Guidelines - On May 20, 2022, Arup, the Town's BESS consultant, provided a set of guidelines for siting battery energy storage systems. To view that report, click here.
Review of Medway Grid Proposal - On May 20, 2022, Arup, the Town's BESS consultant, provided a memorandum of technical review of the proposed Medway GRID BESS as submitted to the Energy Facilities Siting Board. To view that memorandum, click here.
- Local BESS webinar held May 6, 2021, organized by State Representative Jeffrey Roy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TU4mdIMGaI
- Federal data on BESS systems in Massachusetts. Click HERE.
- BESS Siting and Safety Best Practices - Exeter Associates
- U.S. Energy Storage Association - https://energystorage.org/why-energy-storage/
- Energy Storage Best Practices from New England
June 16, 2021 Special PEDB Meeting
Updated June 1, 2022
NOTE - This section will be updated as additional information becomes available.