Ideal Power and Wright Architects to build a solar + storage project that will provide off-grid, and virtually fossil-free power, to a remote building complex in rural New York.
The companies believe that critical facilities such as military bases, hospitals, airports and industrial facilities, as well as buildings in rural areas are logical choices for microgrids to allow these facilities to continue to operate during grid outages. For decades, one of the few backup power solutions has been the diesel generator, which carries a heavy environmental and economic footprint. But bringing power to remote communities and critical facilities through a combination of clean energy and energy storage is now a more economical solution. This is driven by the rapid decline in battery costs, which are predicted to fall by as much as 70% over the next 15 years, according to a recent report by DNV GL, PricewaterhouseCoopers and others.
Wright Architects, the project leader of a large sustainable energy retrofit project, performed an energy feasibility study of the facility and subsequently implemented several energy conservation strategies to allow for better energy management. Once the energy management goals were achieved and after discovering that the existing utility infrastructure would not reliably support the long term goals of the facility, a microgrid became the logical answer to enable the facility to meet its energy, sustainability, reliability and environmental goals as well as be grid independent. According to Andrew Wright, President of Wright Architects, “We searched the solar industry for the required microgrid and integration expertise and found Azimuth Energy to be an exceptional partner for this facility’s microgrid. We are excited to see it being implemented.”
“We designed our Stabiliti series power conversion systems to specifically address microgrid and backup power applications, efficiently integrating solar and storage in a compact, flexible, and easily deployed package,” said Dan Brdar, CEO of Ideal Power. “As awareness continues to grow around the increasingly affordable use of solar and energy storage based microgrids to displace the use of diesel fuel or mitigate the impact of grid outages, we believe that a growing number of projects like this one will come to fruition around the world. It’s the future of distributed power generation.”
Designed and installed by Azimuth Energy, the solar+storage project will use a microgrid site controller, and include a leading worldwide battery manufacturer and supplier’s lithium-ion battery modules, providing approximately 500 kilowatt-hours kWh of energy storage capacity. The 300 kW solar array will use Ideal Power’s Stabiliti 30-kW multiport power conversion system, a compact solution that efficiently enables bi-directional power flow between solar, storage and the microgrid, all in one box. The result will be an independent microgrid system that can provide fossil-free energy at a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional converter solutions.
“We are thrilled to lead this project, which brings together strong technologies in microgrid controls, energy storage, solar and power conversion to meet power quality and reliability challenges,” said Marc Lopata, president of Azimuth Energy. “Deploying sustainable power solutions to areas without the support of the grid requires complex engineering and the right systems to make it work. As we launch head-on into the age of solar+storage, we look forward to growing our partnership with Ideal Power and expanding our innovation in microgrids and energy efficiency integration.”