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Utilities and manufacturers are racing to create a battery capable of storing enough electricity to accommodate fluctuations on the electric grid. We believe we have the Midwest’s largest battery — the electric water heaters located in the basements of 110,000 Minnesota homes. The electric water heater is the centerpiece of a concept called “community storage.” Similar to community solar projects, our community storage program aggregates controlled residential appliances, such as water heaters, to build local energy-storage capability.
Economic consulting firm, The Brattle Group identified the nation’s 50 million residential electric water heaters as a significant – and vastly underutilized – energy storage resource capable of substantial environmental and cost benefits. Their research shows that storage-enabled water heating could save the consumer as much as $200 annually.
Great River Energy joined National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Peak Load Management Alliance to commission a study and from the National Community Storage Initiative
The Community Storage Initiative is focused on collaborative information sharing and coordinated market development efforts in support of wide-scale implementation of energy storage technologies that are commonly located in communities across the country.