NIPCO reduces costs to member-consumers


NIPCO employees Jayme Huber, vice president of Engineering and Operations, and Chris Larson, system protection and planning engineer, in front of the recently installed Tesla® 975-kilowatt Megapack®.  

Battery storage options have expanded, and advancing technology is finding ways to discharge power onto distribution electrical grids.

In 2019, Basin Electric introduced a member-owned trial battery rate allocating up to 150 kilowatts (kW) per Class C member. This allows members to own batteries that can be incorporated into their load management control programs to reduce costs associated with peak-time energy demands. 

One of the first cooperatives to take advantage of this program was Class A member Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO), headquartered in LeMars, Iowa. The NIPCO-owned Lawton Substation, located within its service area, is home to a 975-kilowatt Tesla® Megapack® designed to reduce NIPCO’s demand purchases by discharging the batteries during peak demand times. 

The Megapacks allow NIPCO to reduce its demand purchased from Basin Electric, which helps reduce costs that would eventually be passed along to their consumer-owners. Additionally, Basin Electric’s base rate demand period waiver allows NIPCO to charge the battery without being included in its billing peak. “Discharging the battery helps to hold rates stable between NIPCO and members and between members and member-consumers,” Larson says.

The battery was fully installed, tested, and went into commercial operation on Dec. 28, 2021. 

To find out more about NIPCO and the Megapack, read Battery storage system means extra reliability for NIPCO in the Fall 2022 issue of Basin Today.

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