Cooperative Battery Storage Deployment Honored with Cleantech Innovation Award


North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and energy storage solution provider FlexGen have received a Cleantech Innovation Award from the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster for the 2022 deployment of cutting-edge battery energy storage systems in rural co-op services areas.

The co-ops and FlexGen accepted the award Nov. 9 at the fourth annual Cleantech Innovation Awards, which celebrated 13 winners in 10 categories and brought together leaders from across the business, government, academic and non-profit sectors. At the ceremony, N.C. Electric Cooperatives’ Vice President of Innovation and Business Development Jim Musilek also delivered remarks about the co-ops’ Brighter Future vision and innovation to benefit co-op consumer-members.

Earned for the cooperatives’ installation of 10 battery energy storage systems at substations in rural areas, the Cleantech Impact: Energy award recognizes “an energy project that applies cleantech to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents.” The cooperatives’ project provides 40 MWs of battery energy storage collectively and benefits cooperative members through enhanced reliability. By adding local energy resources to co-op communities, the project also supports power resilience, sustainability and a more efficient use of the grid.

Jenn Eberhart, director of member engagement for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, accepted the award with Yann Brandt, chief commercial officer at FlexGen.

“We are honored to receive this award for the deployment of our battery energy storage systems,” Eberhart said. “These projects will enhance reliability and help power a brighter future for cooperative members in rural communities across the state.”


Jenn Eberhart, director of member engagement for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives (right), and Yann Brandt, chief commercial officer at FlexGen (left), accept the 2022 Cleantech Award. Photo by RTCC.

In his address to the audience, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ Jim Musilek, expanded on the cooperatives’ leadership role in the energy transition. Citing innovative energy projects like battery storage, microgrids and beneficial electrification, Musilek discussed the co-ops’ work to power a brighter future and deliver benefits for their 2.5 million members in rural communities across the state.

He also noted that cooperatives are focused on programs designed to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve and working to deliver sustainable solutions at a pace that preserves the affordability of electricity and leaves no member behind.

Jim Musilek, vice president of innovation and business development at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, discusses the co-ops’ brighter future vision during his presentation. Photo by RTCC.

FlexGen, selected by the co-ops to engineer and construct the systems for the substation battery project, is a leading energy storage solution and software technology provider based in Durham.

“North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives have shown their leadership in delivering reliability and flexibility for their members. Energy storage is the key to a more intelligent and reliable grid for rural consumers and businesses across the state,” said FlexGen CEO Kelcy Pegler. “The FlexGen team is thrilled to be honored with this award for delivering our best-in-class technology that will provide more resilience and flexibility to our home state grid and consumers.”

The first of the 10 battery storage systems was energized last month with the rest expected to be operational by the end of the year.