Energy-efficiency projects get $39m

Erin Ailworth | Boston Globe | November 25, 2009

The US Department of Energy awarded $39 million for four Massachusetts projects that will demonstrate technologies and systems to make the electrical grid more efficient and reliable. The money is part of $620 million in matching stimulus funds being doled out for similar projects across the country.

In Massachusetts, utility company NStar is receiving $7.6 million to help pay for two pilot programs. The first will allow Newton and Hopkinton residents to monitor and reduce energy use when demand is high. The second will test how to connect renewable energy sources such as electricity-generating solar panels in Boston to the grid.

Two other Massachusetts projects are getting a combined $31.4 million. One, run by battery maker Premium Power Corp., of North Reading, will show how to incorporate energy storage systems on the grid. Tyngsborough-based Beacon Power Corp. also will examine energy storage issues, by using a flywheel plant in Chicago that produces energy.