Tesla Megapacks support 31 MWh substation expansion in Watertown, NY

Credit: Tesla

Tesla Megapacks are being tasked with supporting a 31-megawatt-hour expansion of the Coffeen substation in Watertown, New York, in conjunction with Nexamp and National Grid, who are battling increased energy demand at the substation.

Nexamp and National Grid announced today that, to keep up with the increased energy demand at the Coffeen substation, it was building a new solar + storage facility that eliminates the need for additional transmission lines or substation upgrades through a Non-Wires Alternative, or NWA.

NWA projects eliminate complexity and reduce costs by using distributed energy resources like solar and energy storage systems. These are more advantageous than traditional generation and infrastructure enhancements and may be more relevant to the overall energy grid and its demands in the coming years as more solar projects are being considered.

A new Nexamp solar + storage project in Watertown, NY will help meet increased demand at the National Grid Coffeen substation, eliminating the need for costly infrastructure upgrades.

The Coffeen substation’s expansion is referred to as the “Watertown Renewables Project” and features more than 20,000 solar panels generating 8.4 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. Excess energy generated by the solar panels and sun will be stored in 10 Tesla Megapack systems that will adequately store 31 MWh of energy. The project’s components will give National Grid the ability to utilize up to 5.7 MW / 29 MWh up to 25 times per year, either from the panels or the batteries, a press release said.

The Watertown Renewables Project will serve residents in the Nexamp Community Solar Program, which provides energy cost savings to homeowners who are subscribed to the program. The Community Solar program allows homeowners to subscribe to a share of a local solar farm while powering the community’s electric grid and earning energy credits for the homeowners. It is geared toward reducing energy costs and can save people up to 15 percent on their electric bills.

Tesla Megapacks have powered numerous “virtual power plants” across the world. The most notable is the Big Battery in Australia. Tesla Megapacks also power a 100MW/400MWh battery storage system in California, known as the Saticoy project.

Nexamp also operates “dozens” of other solar + storage projects across the Northeast and in the United States. It said it expects the Watertown Renewables Project to be completed early next year.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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