Using innovative solutions to reduce costs
MTE has teamed with Tesla, one of the most innovative technology companies in the energy industry, to test a new program intended to save members money via a cutting-edge energy management process.
The Tesla Powerpack is a battery energy storage system (BESS) designed for a wide range of uses. In this pilot program, it will be used to reduce MTE’s energy demand charges from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and improve demand response time to its members when additional energy is needed. It’s yet another asset we can use to improve the quality of our system while being financially responsible stewards of our members’ resources.
The BESS’s primary purpose will help us reduce monthly wholesale electricity purchases during peak demand hours, a change that should result in saving the cooperative tens of thousands of dollars annually. This is done through a process called energy time shift for distributed generation. The process allows the BESS to be charged when TVA rates are lower during low usage hours and is then discharged when energy demand costs are higher. MTE members will benefit significantly because they will be billed based on the lower off-peak rates in effect while the BESS charged rather than the higher on-peak rates normally charged when the electricity is used during those peak hours.
In addition to saving the cooperative money, the Tesla Powerpack allows us to evaluate innovative energy technology and educate members about its Distributed Energy Resources (DER). Education is another important benefit of the project. As with any new technology, there is a lot to learn as we educate our employees and members.
In addition to our BESS, we also operate a subscription solar power program called Cooperative Solar as another part of our DER offerings to members.
We exist to serve our members by making their lives better. As one of the largest electric cooperatives in the nation, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the reliability and affordability of electricity for our members, and the Tesla Powerpack allows us to realize those goals. Members should be focused on living their lives, not on the system powering them.
The deployment of Tesla technology is one of the latest innovations MTEMC has embraced in its role to be their members’ trusted energy advisor and provider.