Battery Storage for Fossil-Fueled Peaker Plant Replacement: A Maine Case Study

April 11, 2024

Strategen | Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)

Across the country, more than a thousand fossil fuel burning peaker power plants sit idle, waiting to be called upon by electricity grid operators. These plants are designed to fire up quickly in response to regional demand spikes. While this serves a critical need, fossil-fueled peaker plants are highly polluting and expensive, and are disproportionately sited in low-income communities, communities of color, and areas already overburdened by pollution.

This analysis, conducted by Strategen for the Clean Energy States Alliance, demonstrates that batteries can cost effectively replace aging fossil-fueled peakers. The analysis is focused on Maine, where the Governor’s Energy Office is currently engaged in designing a 200-MW energy storage procurement process. But the results, which are largely based on regional energy capacity market revenue opportunities, are applicable throughout New England, and should help to inform peaker replacement initiatives in other regions as well.

The report was generously supported with funding from the Barr Foundation and from the Maine Community Foundation—Seal Bay II Fund.