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Liberty Utilities files for Tesla battery pilot in NH

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Liberty Utilities has filed DE 17-189 with the NH PUC to introduce a battery storage pilot in NH using Powerwall 2's. They are looking to install 1000 batteries in customer residences, in a program modeled after Green Mountain Power's battery program in VT. Customers can lease 1 or 2 batteries for 10 years, with an upfront payment of $1000 or $10/month for 10 years (vs GMP's $1500/$15 fees).

300 batteries are earmarked for deployment on 2 circuits in West Lebanon as a 1.5MW non-wires alternative (aka, "NWA") to reduce peak demand and defer substation improvements at the Craft Hill substation, saving/deferring an estimated one-time expense of $640k in substation upgrades (see Supplemental Testimony of Heather M. Tebbetts, page 10). The remaining batteries will be available to residential customers in other areas.

In addition, participants in the program will be put on a 3-tiered time of use rate plan (GMP did not include TOU rates in their battery program). The batteries will be programmed to charge during the off-peak period (7pm-8am). They will be used to supply in-house loads during the critical peak period (2pm-7pm) and also serve as backup power during grid outages. When ISO-NE predicts a monthly peak event, Liberty will charge the battery the night before, and discharge during the critical peak period to reduce demand from the transmission grid. This reduction in peak transmission demand is expected to save nearly $700k/year (see Direct Testimony of Heather M. Tebbetts, page 9).


From the Jan/Feb bill insert:
Liberty Files for Home Battery Storage Pilot Program

In December 2017, we filed a request with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) to introduce a pilot program for our residential electric customers. This program, the first-of-its-kind in New Hampshire, is designed to provide backup power during an outage and reduce energy costs. As part of the program, Liberty will also be introducing On-Peak, Off-Peak and Critical-Peak rates.

The pilot would involve installing batteries at approximately 1,000 of our customers’ homes. The battery would be charged during off-peak times when costs are low and activated during critical peak times when costs are high. This will allow our customers to save money on their electric bills and gain peace of mind knowing they have access to another power supply during an outage.

Liberty will also benefit from this program by shifting some of that high demand to times of the day when usage is lower. This means less investment in upgrading our infrastructure to meet growing demand.

The program details have been submitted to the NHPUC who will review its merits before it can be put into place.

More information on this project will be posted on our website as it becomes available.
 

Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,138
1,947
Hudson, NH
Good to see Liberty Utilities pursuing this project with Tesla Energy. Progressive utility, last week I noticed that they've added more rooftop solar at headquarters in Londonderry.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Good to see Liberty Utilities pursuing this project with Tesla Energy. Progressive utility, last week I noticed that they've added more rooftop solar at headquarters in Londonderry.
NH allows distribution utilities to own a small amount of DG (I can't remember the limit, and I'm too lazy busy to look it up - maybe 5MW?). I know they are talking with Hanover about installing some Liberty-owned solar in town to help meet Hanover's Ready for 100 goals.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
After almost a year of negotiations between Liberty and various intervenors in the case, a negotiated settlement has finally been reached and was filed last week, with a hearing in front of the Public Utility Commission scheduled for tomorrow morning. Highlights of the settlement include:
  • Proposed NWA in West Lebanon cancelled. Batteries will be available throughout Liberty service territory.
  • Liberty's original proposal for 1000 Powerwall 2 batteries reduced to 500 for Liberty, plus an additional 500 (or equivalent if not Powerwall 2) in a TBD "BYOD" program.
  • Program to be divided into 2 phases. Phase 1 grants Liberty the right to install at least 100, not more than 200 batteries.
  • Installation to start once customers for the initial 100 are identified and validated.
  • BYOD program to be designed in phase 1.
  • Pending successful phase 1, phase 2 starts.
  • During phase 2, Liberty may install an additional 300 batteries, plus 500 BYOD batteries may be installed.
  • Phase 1 for residential customers only. Phase 2 residential plus limited single-phase municipal G-3 accounts at "strategic municipal facilities."
  • $25/month for 10 years or $2433 up front per battery (option to extend for 5 more without fee), $450 ETF per battery in the first 10 years.
Rates (all-in, transmission, distribution, and generation/energy supply included):
Summer Period (May 1 to October 31):
  • Off-Peak: 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. (all days) - $0.0683/kWh
  • Mid-Peak: 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F), 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. (weekends and holidays) - $0.1526/kWh
  • Critical Peak: 3:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F) - $0.3644/kWh
Winter Period (November 1 to April 30)
  • Off-Peak: 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. (all days) - $0.1302/kWh
  • Mid-Peak: 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F), 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. (weekends and holidays) - $0.1668/kWh
  • Critical Peak: 3:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F) - $0.3567/kWh
More details in the settlement agreement - https://www.puc.nh.gov/Regulatory/D...TARIFFS/17-189_2018-11-19_ENGI_SETTLEMENT.PDF
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Rates (all-in, transmission, distribution, and generation/energy supply included):
Summer Period (May 1 to October 31):
  • Off-Peak: 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. (all days) - $0.0683/kWh
  • Mid-Peak: 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F), 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. (weekends and holidays) - $0.1526/kWh
  • Critical Peak: 3:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F) - $0.3644/kWh
Winter Period (November 1 to April 30)
  • Off-Peak: 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. (all days) - $0.1302/kWh
  • Mid-Peak: 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F), 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. (weekends and holidays) - $0.1668/kWh
  • Critical Peak: 3:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. (non-holiday M-F) - $0.3567/kWh
I forgot to add, for comparison, the total rate on my last Liberty bill was $0.17059/kWh

$25/month for 10 years or $2433 up front per battery (option to extend for 5 more without fee), $450 ETF per battery in the first 10 years.
$25 for 120 months vs $2,433 equals a financing rate of 4.32%.

Participants will be required to take 2 batteries, so those fees are doubled ($50/month or $4866 upfront, $900 removal fee).
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Yesterday, the NH Public Utility Commission issued order #26209, approving the settlement proposed for DE 17-189, with three minor caveats (see page 39-40):
  • Since some of the program costs were estimates, the utility must "promptly inform the Commission, Staff, and parties if any program cost items are expected to be materially greater than estimated."
  • Continue to work with outside experts to refine the TOU model as needed.
  • Further, continuing analysis of the Commission's concerns over cybersecurity risks and customer data privacy.
Congrats to Liberty, Tesla, and Liberty customers.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
I have heard through the grapevine that Liberty has closed the waiting list for phase 1 due to high demand (200 batteries total, 100 customers, 2 batteries each).
 
  • Informative
Reactions: EinSV

JATinNH

Member
Jun 15, 2019
54
39
Salem, NH
I could be wrong, but I've seen some hints that they may be opening up for phase 2... I haven't called to confirm yet, but was first interested in hearing from anyone on here who participated in phase 1 and learn about their experience. Anyone willing to share their pros and cons? Thx in advance.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
They have not started phase 1 installations yet; they are waiting on final approval from the NH PUC. Supposedly soon.
 
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Reactions: JATinNH

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
I'm assuming this update is OK to post, since it was sent to everyone 2 days ago who had signed up for phase 1:

Thank you for your interest in the Liberty Utilities Battery Storage Pilot program. We are very sorry for the delay. We are waiting for the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) to give us the final okay to start installing batteries. We hope to get that soon. When we do, Tesla will be contacting you to schedule a meeting to review your home’s electrical configuration and install the batteries.

The delay was due to an order by the NHPUC to conduct a thorough cyber security review of Tesla. The rigorous review is now complete and we are waiting for the official word from the NHPUC to proceed.

Thank you for your patience.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: mociaf9 and JATinNH

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
This morning's update:

Liberty Utilities has received the order from the Public Utilities Commission, and can now move forward with the installation of the batteries. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be installing a new meter at your home. Please be advised, you will not be transferred to Time-of-Use rates at this time. Once the Company moves you to the time-of-use rates, we will inform you with the rates in effect.

Tesla will be contacting you in the next week few weeks to start the battery installation process with you.
 
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Reactions: JATinNH

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Tesla emailed me 3 days ago, asking me to fill out a survey about my home and send pictures of my electric panel.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
This email came out an hour ago. Note: "We are still looking for a few more people to join the program."


c26887e9-bf31-48e9-8210-77b2c12f35eb.png
Liberty Utilities’ Battery Storage Pilot Program
In these unprecedented times, we want you to know that we are focused on providing safe and reliable electricity. With many of us spending a lot more time at home, electricity is more critical than ever. That’s why we want to make you aware of Liberty Utilities Battery Storage Pilot Program. The program has received all necessary approvals and is now moving forward. We are still looking for a few more people to join the program.
Benefits
The home batteries will help Liberty Utilities reduce its overall demand for electricity during peaks and serve as back-up power for customers during a power outage. Reducing customer demand at peak times will reduce the cost of energy transmission. This is something all electric customers pay for, not only those participating in the program.
The program is open to Liberty Utilities residential electric customers in NH. The cost to participate in the program is $25 per battery, per month, or a onetime upfront payment of $4866.00. Each customer will be required to use two batteries. The agreement will last for ten years. The installation, service and maintenance will be provided at no additional cost to customers.
ba894f47-b0c1-43b4-a9f8-28c3f5dfd18b.jpg

b917ac43-74b6-4ee0-b9d1-03fb54d618ae.jpg
Eligibility Requirements
  • You must be the owner of the property or have permission from the owner to sign up
  • You must have reliable cellular service and Wi-Fi at your location
  • You must be a Liberty Utilities electric customer in New Hampshire
  • Your account must be in good standing with no disconnect notices in the last 12 months
Click for More Information
A note about COVID-19 safety
We are working with Tesla to install the batteries in customer homes. Tesla is taking extra precautions when installing batteries, including wearing extra protective equipment and maintaining a safe distance from people in the home.



Copyright © 2020 Liberty Utilities, All rights reserved.
 
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JATinNH

Member
Jun 15, 2019
54
39
Salem, NH
I had my batteries installed last Thursday. The inspector signed off today.
Almost 2 months in, how’s it going with the batteries and the experience? As I sit here in the dark with the power out from a storm that just rolled through, I’m wishing I had them right about now.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,990
New Hampshire
Almost 2 months in, how’s it going with the batteries and the experience? As I sit here in the dark with the power out from a storm that just rolled through, I’m wishing I had them right about now.
I had a 2 hour outage at the end of August, and 2 short (<5 min) outages in September. Switchover is fast (<1/2 sec), but not fast enough to eliminate the need for a UPS on PC's. The Liberty program manages time of use periods but doesn't allow you to set the backup reserve (defaults to 20%). I'd like to bump the reserve to 50% (since I only cycle 20%/day), but I'm not sure if I can (I haven't contacted Liberty to check).

The battery will use all available solar to charge during off-peak (8pm - 8am) and mid-peak (8am - 3pm, M-F, non holiday) until it has enough to self-supply during the critical peak period (3pm-8pm, M-F, non-holiday). For me, it charges to approximately 40% to have 20% for the critical peak period, leaving a 20% backup reserve at the end of the critical peak period. While the battery is charging, the house draws from the grid (ie, all solar goes to the battery). After it is done charging, the battery goes into standby, the house self-powers off solar, and excess solar is exported to the grid. During the critical peak period, all solar is exported and the house runs off the battery. If the battery runs down to the backup reserve before the critical peak ends, the house will self-power off the solar, and draw from the grid if needed. The battery sits idle on weekends (no critical peak period).

I did see one Storm Watch activation - on Sept 22, a Red Flag (fire) warning was issued for NH from 10am to 7pm. The battery started charging around 6am that morning and charged to 100%. It sat idle until 7pm when the watch expired, and then it switched back to normal mode for the last hour of the critical peak period.

I have not seen a peak period activation yet. I just got an email yesterday from Liberty welcoming me to the program and telling me that I now have $50/month rental fee; they weren't charging me until Tesla finished setting up everything on their end.

We'll see what happens this winter when my available solar drops significantly - I'm afraid I may not generate enough solar to add 20% to the battery for the critical peak period.
 

zƬesla

Member
Apr 16, 2020
422
159
US-NH
@tga - how did your PWs do this winter? Oct-Feb was rough in the MWV between the extreme cold and cloud cover, although our PWs did ok with a little manual tuning. Only one major outage for which we switched off the mini-split heatpumps and used the boiler to conserve power.
 

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