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Tesla wins contract to build 4 MWh Powerpack system at UMass Amherst campus

Tesla’s Powerpack systems have had some success on university campuses on the west coast and now they are going to the east coast thanks to Massachusetts’ Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) project.

Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that they awarded the University of Massachusetts Amherst a $1.1 million state grant from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) project to work with Tesla Energy to construct a large battery at the Central Heating Plant on the west side of campus.

It’s a 1 megawatt/4 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery storage system using Tesla’s Powerpacks to reduce peak energy demand and help optimize how the campus integrates its current mix of power generation.

UMass already has several solar assets and they plan to use Tesla’s batteries to reduce their reliance on the grid and get more out of their solar arrays.

They have 7 solar installations on rooftops and parking lot canopies – totalling 5.3 MW of capacity:


Between their solar installations, their Central Heating Plant, and now this new Tesla battery system, they believe that they will have “one of the most sophisticated power microgrids in the state.”

Shane R. Conklin, associate vice chancellor for facilities and campus services, said about the project:

“This project is an excellent example of how collaboration between academic research and facilities operations increases benefits to the campus and our students. Not only will we see utility budget savings, our project will provide on-campus data to support research, and Tesla will provide $80,000 of educational initiatives for our students.”

For Tesla, it’s the latest example of series of Powerpack projects on university campuses. Last year, AMS and Tesla Energy won important 12 MWh Powerpack contract with Cal State University and Tesla later completed a new $5.3 million Powerpack project at College of Marin.

Now the company also won several other contracts in Massachusetts last week as part of the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES), along with a few other companies, like SunRun and National Grid.

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