Panasonic, Xcel Energy Form Public/Private Microgrid Partnership In Denver

Spurred by state mandated renewable energy goals, Panasonic, Xcel Energy and Younicos have formed a public/private partnership with the city and county to promote a microgrid centered around the Peña Station NEXT, a 382 acre transportation hub located near Denver International Airport. The Xcel Energy feeder for Peña Station NEXT already has 20% solar penetration and is expected to have 30% solar penetration by the time the microgrid project is completed in the first half of 2017.

Denver microgrid campus

The project will feature a 1.6 megawatt carport solar system, a 259 kW rooftop solar array installed mounted on top of the Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company’s building and using Panasonic HIT solar panels, and a Younicos 2 megawatt/2 MWh lithium ion battery system with inverter and controls. The battery storage component will be integrated into the company’s innovative Y.Cube system. Panasonic’s Denver operations building, which has an intelligent building energy management system, will serve as the initial anchor load for the microgrid.

“We’re so excited about this ‘portfolio’ microgrid….because of how a system such as this can unlock more benefits for more stakeholders,” said Peter Bronski of Panasonic, “and how this public-private partnership approach to the microgrid and the battery system’s stacked use cases can strengthen the overall economics and value propositions.”

“Many microgrids and energy storage systems are deployed for single use cases by single entities, such as a corporation pursuing demand charge reductions or a university campus strengthening energy resilience. By contrast, the Peña Station NEXT project used a public-private partnership approach that resulted in a multi-stakeholder “portfolio microgrid.”

The battery energy storage system will have five usage scenarios:

1) solar energy grid integration via solar smoothing ramp control and solar time shifting

2) grid peak demand reduction

3) energy arbitrage

4) frequency regulation

5) backup power for Panasonic’s network operations center.

“As part of Xcel Energy’s Innovative Clean Technologies program in Colorado, we’re eager to demonstrate how energy storage can integrate more solar energy on our system. We’ll also examine how battery systems can become more cost effective by supporting the grid and providing reliability for customers,” said Beth Chacon, director grid storage & emerging technologies at Xcel Energy.

“Multi-resource microgrids that serve different use cases, like the one at Peña Station NEXT, are the types of deployments that will transform the grid on both sides of the meter,” said Jayesh Goyal, Chief Commercial Officer of Younicos. “Our Y.Cube system is ideal for this type of commercial application: fully integrated components with batteries, plug-and-play functionality, and intelligent software to handle various control modes – essentially ‘storage in a box’. We’re proud to be part of this forward-looking project.”

Source and photo credit: Business Wire

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