One of World’s Largest Residential Microgrids Powered by Solar

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Earl Bakken has always been an innovator. After all, he invented the first battery powered pacemaker.

Now he has turned his attentions toward solar, installing one of the world’s largest microgrid arrays at his home.

Working with Tigo Energy Inc. and Renewable Energy Services, Bakken had the system built at Bakken Hale, his privately owned residence. The array is equipped with 176kW ground mounted PV modules powered by Tigo and capable of generating 350MWh of solar annually.

Bakken said, “We are attracted to Tigo’s platform in particular because their technology is of the highest quality, which will enable us to generate solar power at the optimal level for many years into the future.” Tigo’s chairman and CEO Zvi Alon said,  “We look forward to continu[ing] to increase the number of hybrid PV+Battery systems and working on similar solar-battery projects worldwide.”

The Tigo system works efficiently with battery backup systems, charging from the sun during the day, then discharging during the night.

Roland Shackelford, Vice President of RES stated, “This project was done with the highest level of workmanship and components selected from every nut and bolt, to the use of Tigo. Tigo’s reliability and ability to get the maximum power output from each module is exactly what we were looking for. The per-module monitoring and performance notification capabilities are benefits that ensure that the system is working optimally in the years to come.”

The batteries for the system were provided by Aquion Energy Inc. According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald the 44 batteries can store enough energy to last for three days.

Bakken said, ““I want to demonstrate using a solar and battery-powered microgrid is the best solution because it allows us to meet all of our power needs day and night.”