New England-based hydro project owner and operator FirstLight Power has made its first investment in battery storage, buying two projects at universities from Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

One of the projects is a 1.044 MWh system at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, which is integrated with a 1.8 MW onsite cogeneration plant, a 600 kW wind turbine and a 300 kW solar array.

The other is a 1.6 MWh behind-the-meter system at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., which operates as a demand-response unit.

Both projects use Tesla PowerPack technology.

AMS will continue to provide operations and maintenance services under a fixed-term, fixed-price contract.

“Recent changes in the ISO-New England market are enabling greater participation of distributed resources, and in particular storage resources,” said Sidd Manjeshwar, CFO of FirstLight. “This transaction and strategic partnership with AMS represents a step in the right direction to address fuel security for our customers, Brandeis and UMass Dartmouth, and an opportunity to diversify in energy-storage markets that we understand well through management of the Northfield Mountain and Rocky River energy storage systems.”

FirstLight levered up its 1,168 MW Northfield Mountain pumped hydro project in Northfield, Mass., earlier this year with a $650 million 15-year private placement. Barclays and MUFG were the placement agents on the deal, which closed on April 18.

The Northfield Mountain project was brought online in 1972.

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