August 13, 2014
Green Mountain Power (GMP) has begun construction on a “solar + storage microgrid” project in Rutland, Vt., — a project managed by Clean Energy States Alliance and Sandia National Laboratories. Microgrids like these can keep critical facilities, such as emergency shelters, firehouses and fueling stations, operating during power outages. Article
sbj; CESA: Combining solar with energy storage is the future of clean energy
Topics: Electricity Generation
CESA: Combining solar with energy storage the future of clean energy
August 13, 2014 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin
Green Mountain Power (GMP) has begun construction on a “solar + storage microgrid” project in Rutland, Vt., which is being partially funded a federal-state-NGO partnership involving the State of Vermont; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity; and the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) — a project managed by Clean Energy States Alliance and Sandia National Laboratories. Microgrids like these can keep critical facilities, such as emergency shelters, firehouses and fueling stations, operating during power outages.
The site of Stafford Hills Solar Farm. Credit: Green Mountain Power
According to the DOE, the Stafford Hill Solar Farm is the first project to establish a micro-grid powered solely by solar and battery back-up, with no other fuel source. Further, Stafford Hill is the first to provide full back-up to an emergency shelter on the distribution network, as well as the first “solar + storage microgrid” to be developed on a brownfield site, contributing to brownfield redevelopment efforts in Vermont. The solar farm is sited at the closed Rutland City landfill, and is the first known solar storage project in the country to repurpose brownfield land once used to bury waste for the siting of renewable energy.
The 2.5 MW project incorporates 7,722 solar panels, helping GMP to reach its goal of making Rutland the Solar Capital of New England and Vermont to reach its renewable energy goals. It also incorporates 4 MW of battery storage, both lithium ion and lead acid, to integrate the solar generation into the local grid, and to provide resilient power in case of an outage.
The microgrid will provide resilient power to a Rutland school that serves as a public emergency shelter, as well as providing clean, distributed generation and resilient power to an urban community that is targeted for revitalization and suffers frequent storm-related power outages. Additional critical facilities may be supported in the future.
Stafford Hills is part of GMP’s larger vision of transforming Rutland into “The Energy City of the Future.”
“This project is a national model for the future of clean energy — combining solar with energy storage,” said Lewis Milford, president of Clean Energy Group, which manages the Clean Energy States Alliance. “Solar power and battery storage will provide clean reliable power to a school that serves as an emergency shelter, helping a community cope with loss of power in a future disaster. This new form of resilient power is what all communities need to protect themselves from power outages in severe weather events.”
The $10 million project is anticipated to be complete in mid-December.
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