top of page

Michael Kennedy dedicates battery storage project in Holyoke, Massachusetts

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                    July 29, 2021
Contact: Hannah Goetz

Holyoke BESS PR.webp

HOLYOKE, Mass. – Citizens Energy Vice President Michael Kennedy today flipped the switch on a 4.99-megawatt Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to provide power-cost savings to the local community and beyond through clean energy technology.

While launching the new site, the nephew of Citizens Energy Chairman and former U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, was joined by Holyoke Mayor Terrance Murphy, Massachusetts State Rep. Patricia Duffy and HG&E General Manager James Lavelle in dedicating the project to the late Martin J. Dunn in recognition of the former Holyoke mayor and state senator’s lifetime of service to the city.

“Marty Dunn was a friend to all of us at Citizens Energy and to the citizens of Holyoke,” said Kennedy, who heads up new business development for the Boston-based nonprofit. “This project will serve as a reminder of the hard work he put in over his years of public service to improve the lives of everyone in Holyoke for decades to come.”

The lithium-ion battery system consists of three 53-foot containers, 158 racks and 1,896 module batteries, located across from HG&E’s North Canal Substation along the Connecticut River. The project will provide an alternative source of energy for Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) customers when the demand and cost of power peaks throughout the day. At times when the price of energy is stable locally, the BESS will participate in the ISO New England (ISO-NE) market to regulate power on the regional grid.

"On behalf of Holyoke, I want to thank Citizens Energy Corporation for partnering with the Holyoke Gas & Electric, in this energy project to meet our needs during peak load periods,” said Mayor Murphy. “Let me also express this city's gratitude for the efforts of our former mayor, Marty Dunn, as again he has effectively made Holyoke a better place to live." 

“Marty had an unprecedented commitment to the City of Holyoke and served the community in a variety of critical roles throughout his life,” said Jim Lavelle, HG&E’s Manager. “The benefits of this system will have long-lasting impacts on the City of Holyoke, as will Marty’s legacy.”

“We have an enormous responsibility to our community and to our planet to not only make clean choices, but to ensure those choices are available to everyone,” said former Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II, who founded Citizens Energy Corporation over 40 years ago to make life’s basic needs more affordable. “This is a first-of-its-kind project for Citizens, and with it comes the opportunity to make the renewable energy revolution accessible for all.”

The 10-megawatt hour system represents the next generation of energy infrastructure in an area of the city long known for innovative power solutions. The project site sits in close proximity to Holyoke’s Canal District, which includes 4.5 miles of nineteenth-century manmade canals that powered belt and pulley mechanical wheels for the nearby industrial mills. In the late 1800s, the old machine wheels were traded out for turn-of-the century electric wheels, which paved the way for local hydropower generation. Today, electrical output from HG&E’s hydro system provides approximately two-thirds of Holyoke’s annual electricity use.

The Martin J. Dunn Energy Center is Citizens Energy’s first completed BESS. The Boston-based nonprofit has several others under development along the East Coast, in addition to microgrid projects in other parts of New England and currently has over 40 solar projects in its national portfolio. The BESS is the most recent addition to HG&E’s strategic peak-shaving program and will help keep utility rates stable, protecting customers from the potential volatility of energy markets.

About Citizens Energy

Citizens Energy Corporation is a Boston-based nonprofit founded by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II. Under his leadership as chairman and president, Citizens Energy has compiled a 40-plus-year history of channeling revenues from successful energy ventures in oil, natural gas, electricity trading, energy efficiency and conservation, transmission, wind power and solar arrays to programs that help the poor.

About Holyoke Gas & Electric

Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) is a municipally-owned utility that was formed in 1902. Today the Department provides electricity, natural gas, and fiber optic telecommunications services to over 18,000 customers. HG&E’s mission is to provide competitive rates, innovative and sustainable energy solutions, reliable service, and excellent customer care.

bottom of page