Utility Non-Wires Alternative RFPs Coming to Massachusetts?…Enel X Expands Canadian Footprint

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Massachusetts House paves way for non-wires alternative solicitations

The Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday approved a grid resiliency bill that could open the way for utilities to issue competitive solicitations for non-wires alternatives.

non-wires alternative

Photo by petrmalinak/Shutterstock.com

HB 4739 would require that utilities file annual resiliency reports to show areas of their distribution systems that would benefit from grid resiliency measures.

The reports would offer heat maps that indicate peak energy usage times, congested areas of the distribution grid and areas vulnerable to outages due to high demand, lack of local energy, or severe weather. Developers could use the heat maps to identify best locations to propose a non-wires alternative project.

Utilities would have the option of issuing non-wires alternative solicitations to third parties to fill any resiliency need, including alternatives to upgrading transmission or distribution.

In selecting bid winners, utilities would consider both monetary and non-monetary benefits of the non-wires alternatives. These might include improving resiliency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering peak demand, easing congestion in stressed areas of the grid, and serving low-income areas.

The bill also would set up an institute to promote energy storage and create a study of mobile energy storage.

Approved unanimously by the House July 12, the bill is now before Senate Ways and Means.

Enel X installs intelligent battery system for Canadian food packaging company

Enel X is bringing new sophistication to a Canadian food packaging company’s demand response capabilities with installation of a 2.34 MW/4.7MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system,

Amhil North America will use both batteries and Enel X DEN.OS software.

Demand response is not new to the Ontario company. It has been participating in the programs since 2010 through EnerNOC, an Enel X company.

In addition to participating in demand response, Enel X will use the system to reduce peak energy usage and therefore costs.

In all, Amhil expects to save 20 percent on  ts energy spending through the 11-year contract with Enel X. The project will be deployed in the second half of 2018.

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The battery also provides the packaging company with backup power, improving its energy resilience.

The project expands the already large Ontario footprint of Enel X — through EnerNOC. The company has been working in the province since 2008 and is the largest commercial and industrial aggregator of demand response, with contracts for about 200 MW across about 400 customer sites. The Amhil project is Enel X’s second battery storage project in Canada; the other is a 1 MWh lithium-ion behind-the-meter battery system at Algoma Orchards in Ontario.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. resiliency is the new term replacing sustainable. part of the global psy-op in corralling us into a specific mindset. Watch that term appearing everywhere


  1. […] of the programs were borrowed from another energy bill, H.4739, which focused on grid resiliency and won House approval July […]