Battery maker that struck deal with Hagerstown files for bankruptcy
A U.S. division of a Swiss manufacturer that entered into an agreement with the City of Hagerstown to develop two battery storage systems in Hagerstown that would be used to store excess electric power has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Alevo announced last month that it was laying off its 290 workers in Concord, N.C., and that the process would be completed by the end of this month, according to an Aug. 18 story in The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer.
One Hagerstown official said Thursday that the bankruptcy would not negatively impact the city.
The Hagerstown project centered around storing excess power as the nation turns to more renewable energy sources like wind and solar, Michael S. Spiker, the city’s utility director, said previously. The city runs its own electric department, known as the Hagerstown Light Department, which was the largest municipally-owned electric system in Maryland as of January 2016.
The city’s opportunity to work with Alevo came about through the utility department’s work with Customized Energy Solutions, a consultant that has assisted Spiker’s department with energy issues.
Customized Energy Solutions approached the city about the energy storage systems, Spiker said.
A characteristic of renewable energy is that because the forces that generate it are variable, the energy is too. So the idea is to collect energy and store it in the battery facilities.
Alevo is one of two entities the city has entered into agreements with to establish the systems. The other group is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which agreed to build a 2 megawatt facility at the city’s Frederick Street substation, Spiker said.
Alevo agreed to develop two battery storage systems in the city: one at the city’s electric substation at Wesel and Burhans boulevards and the other at the city’s substation in the area of Fairgrounds Park. Both the Mitsubishi and the Alevo project are to involve storing the batteries in structures similar to pre-fabricated buildings.
Under the agreements with the two companies, Alevo and Mitsubishi are to lease city property for the operations which will generate a total of $72,000 a year to the city, Spiker said.
The agreements could extend for 20 years, meaning the city could have enjoyed $1.44 million over the 20-year period.