Cold Cash: Energy Efficiency Pays Off for Patch’s Market

Cold Cash: Energy Efficiency Pays Off for Patch’s Market

Ron Patch knows all about the cost of doing business these days. As the owner of Patch’s Market & Deli in Glen, NH, he’s seen his costs go up on everything from the gas at the pumps to the meat in the subs. So when the cost of power went up too, he turned to NHEC and the NHSaves energy efficiency programs for help.

“We’re all stuck in it together, especially with the increases in the cost of energy,” Patch said. “So to have these programs really helps out.”

With advice and financial incentives from NHEC and NHSaves totaling 50% of the project cost, Patch was able to invest in the energy efficiency of his business. The result – nearly 30,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity savings per year!

Like the dozens of other small markets that are dotted across NHEC service territory, the biggest energy savings opportunities are in the coolers with the beer and soda. At Patch’s, that meant replacing fan motors that ran 24 hours a day with Electrically Commutating (EC) motors that operate only when needed. On a busy summer day, a steady stream of customers is in and out of the walk-in cooler, buying an estimated 300 cases of beverages a day.

“The main cooler is so much more efficient now,” Patch said. “I used to have trouble keeping it defrosted but had no problem whatsoever with it this summer, which was the hottest we’ve had in years.”

He also swapped out older fluorescent lights in the 40’ X ’16 cooler with highly efficient LEDs, a change that Patch said elicited hundreds of comments from customers.

“The product just sparkles now and they really notice it,” he said.

Other efficiency measures included the installation of anti-sweat heater controls in the cooler doors. All told, Patch’s Market can expect to save more than $6,000 a year in electric costs (based on current rates).

“It’s been a very successful conversion for me,” Patch said. “I came away thinking this was a win-win situation for everyone.”

Looking to save energy at your small business? Call or email our business energy experts:

Joe Lajewski                                                                                  Chelsea Smith
(603) 536-8663                                                                             (603) 536-8855
lajewskij@nhec.com                                                                    smithc@nhec.com

NHEC to Participate in Connected Community Grant

PLYMOUTH, NH – (December 2, 2021) New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) will be getting hands-on experience in “transactive energy” as part of a project aimed at meeting the future energy needs of rural and urban communities across the U.S.

NHEC will participate in a Connected Community grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and will collaborate with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Efficiency Maine, Knowledge Problem LLC and the Post Road Foundation to see how smart grid technology, enabled by high-speed internet, can improve the efficiency and reliability of regional and national power grids.

The five-year project will help demonstrate how transactive energy can:

  • facilitate more effective use of electricity distribution systems through load flexibility, with applications such as peak management;
  • reveal the financial value of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) deployment on the distribution system, which can provide revenue to motivate the installation of DER and other efficiency measures; and
  • lower financial and engineering hurdles to beneficial electrification — replacing fossil-fuel-powered heating and transportation with lower cost heat-pumps and electric vehicles.

Brian Callnan, NHEC’s Vice President of Power Supply & Resources, said the project will help NHEC learn how to use its existing smart grid technology and its growing high-speed internet network to develop new relationships between the utility and its members.

“In the traditional utility business model, the utility sets the price of the product once or twice a year,” Callnan said. “In a transactive energy business model, price signals are published the day before, allowing a member to decide how and when to use the utility’s services.  NHEC doesn’t control a thing, our members control the transaction. A member may choose to reduce energy if they see really high prices or even export energy to the utility for payment with a home-based or electric vehicle battery.  We’re trying to use the Co-op’s distribution system to give our members more control, while recognizing the value of their energy investments and compensating them for that value.”

NHEC’s involvement in the Connected Community project will also provide an opportunity to improve the reliability of the NHEC electrical distribution system. NHEC has been investing for years in a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that provides information about the performance of the Co-op’s electrical distribution system. Working with other partners in the Connected Community project, NHEC will be able to use that information to identify potential constraints on the system and mitigate problems before they occur. This will also allow NHEC to make it easier for members to site solar, batteries and other energy resources on its system.

“One of the biggest advantages of the Connected Community project is the access NHEC will have to forward-thinking people and organizations working on these cutting-edge utility issues,” Callnan added. “The Co-op has made a lot of technology investments over time and the relationships we will build as part of this project will allow us to maximize the potential of those investments for our members.”

NHEC, ENGIE Announce Completion of Battery Storage Project

NHEC, ENGIE Announce Completion of Battery Storage Project

PLYMOUTH, NH (May 17th, 2021) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) announced the completion of its first utility scale energy storage project. The 2.45 megawatt (MW) battery project was developed in partnership with ENGIE North America (ENGIE), a leading provider of energy storage services.

ENGIE will own and operate the battery unit, which is located on the site of NHEC’s 2 MW solar array in Moultonborough, NH. The battery unit will charge from NHEC’s distribution system during times of low demand and discharge during periods of peak regional electricity use. By discharging during hours of peak electric usage, the battery will save NHEC’s members on regional market and delivery charges while reducing demand on the grid.

As part of the innovative partnership agreement with ENGIE, NHEC will discharge the battery to supply energy to its members up to 70 times per year. These discharges will be used to reduce NHEC’s transmission charges and regional capacity payments. The battery project will provide NHEC with insight and direct experience into how battery storage technologies respond to price signals and interact with its electrical system. NHEC estimates these discharges will save its members $2.3 million over the next 12 years.

“Energy storage is a rapidly evolving technology that has a key place in our strategic vision for our business model of the future.  It’s important for NHEC to gain firsthand experience with batteries so we can better understand the benefits they have to offer our members and the operation of our system,” said Steve Camerino, President and CEO of NHEC. “As more Co-op members install their own batteries, NHEC needs to be ready to support them with a flexible, responsive grid. We are excited to make significant progress on our strategic vision through this innovative partnership with ENGIE, which will provide benefits to all NHEC’s members.”

“We are delighted to have completed this leading-edge storage project alongside NHEC,” said

Laura Beane, Chief Renewables Officer of ENGIE North America. “The addition of battery storage systems such as these are not only delivering real value to customers today, but also helping to accelerate the energy transition. NHEC’s leadership in commissioning this project reflects their commitment to innovation in supporting cost effective, clean energy for their members,” she continued.

The battery storage unit is the largest in New Hampshire and can fully charge or discharge within two hours. The battery is housed in a pre-fabricated 40 foot container located within the fence line of NHEC’s solar facility in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The battery unit has on-site fire suppression equipment and will be monitored 24 hours a day, year-round.

 

About New Hampshire Electric Cooperative

NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 85,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities. Headquartered in Plymouth, NH, our business is to maintain and service our 6,000 miles of energized line in order to provide our members with the highest level of service.

About ENGIE North America

ENGIE North America Inc. offers a range of capabilities in the United States and Canada to help customers decarbonize, decentralize and digitalize their operations. These include comprehensive services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy and other resource use and expense; clean power generation; energy storage; and retail energy supply that includes renewable, demand response, and on-bill financing options. Nearly 100% of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable. Globally, ENGIE S.A. relies on their key businesses (gas, renewable energy, services) to offer competitive solutions to customers. With 170,000 employees, customers, partners and stakeholders, we are a community of Imaginative Builders, committed every day to more harmonious progress. For more information on ENGIE North America, please visit our LinkedIn page or Twitter feed, www.engie-na.com and www.engie.com

Welcome New Member – Cathedral Ledge Distillery!

Welcome New Member – Cathedral Ledge Distillery!

With modern energy efficiency built into its classic timber frame construction, the new Cathedral Ledge Distillery will soon be lifting spirits in North Conway!

The organic “grain to glass” distillery has worked closely with NHEC to identify and pursue energy efficiency opportunities, as well as the incentives that have made them more affordable to install.

“They’ve been a good sounding board,” said Cathedral Ledge owner Christopher Burk of his experience working with NHEC Commercial Accounts administrators Chelsea Smith and Joe Lajewski. “There are a lot of options when you’re building new, it requires some pre-planning and that’s where NHEC helped tie it together.”

Burk said NHEC’s technical assistance early in the building design process was important. Working with building engineers Resilient Buildings Group of Concord, NH, NHEC provided analysis of various energy efficiency measures from the building shell to the distilling process.

“This technical assistance early in the process was critical and it’s what we really want members to know,” said NHEC’s Joe Lajewski. “We can be most effective in helping members early in the building process. Changes to key energy systems are difficult to make once construction documents are finalized.”

Distilling is an energy-intensive process, Burk explained, requiring lots of thermal energy followed by rapid cooling. To maximize the building’s efficiency, energy recovery tanks were installed underground, capturing hot water from the distilling process and circulating it through the radiant floor heating in the winter. In the building’s retail area and tasting room, highly-efficient heat pumps supplement the radiant floor heat in winter while providing cooling and dehumidification in summer.

Other energy efficiency features of Cathedral Ledge Distillery include:

  • 10-inch poly insulation beneath timber frame exterior (beyond code)
  • High-efficiency propane boiler
  • All LED lighting
  • Dark Sky-compliant outdoor lighting w/photo-sensitive dimmers

The business, located at 3340 White Mountain Highway in North Conway, also features two Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations on-site for customer use.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NHEC INCENTIVES FOR COMMERCIAL EV CHARGERS!

Burk says he’s aiming to open to the public before the end of the year. Pallets of organic grain and empty glass bottles are awaiting the distillery’s first run of vodka and gin.

“We’re so close I can taste it,” he said.

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 BUILDING NEW? MAJOR RENOVATION OR EXPANSION?

Call the NHEC Commercial Accounts team BEFORE you build! 

Chelsea Smith
Commercial Accounts Administrator
603.536.8855; smithc@nhec.com

  • Energy needs and rate analysis
  • Guidance on available NHEC incentives
  • SmartHub Energy Management

 

Joe Lajewski, C.E.M.
Energy Solutions Program Administrator
603.536.8663; lajewskij@nhec.com

 

  • Identify energy efficiency opportunities and technologies
  • Guidance on NHEC program incentives to defray costs
  • Assistance with incentive applications