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New England's Largest Battery Is Hidden Inside A Massachusetts Mountain

Jesse Costa
This hydroelectric-generating facility is located hundreds of feet below a reservoir, hidden deep inside the hollowed-out Northfield Mountain.

It was Boston-born Ben Franklin who first used the term “battery” to describe an electric storage device. Now, nearly three centuries later, Massachusetts is hoping to jump-start the development of new kinds of batteries to power the future.

The state has launched a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative. The 10-year goal: Save electric ratepayers hundreds of million dollars, make the electrical grid more reliable and resilient, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Today’s batteries come in all shapes and sizes. The largest in New England — and once the world — was built 45 years ago and is still working.

But it’s hidden, on top and deep inside a mountain in north-central Massachusetts.

Visit WBUR for the full story.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative: Eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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