... Project of the Year 2017 voting: Solar + Storage, Microgrids | Solar Builder

Project of the Year 2017 voting: Solar + Storage, Microgrids

Century West Condominium

Honolulu, Hawaii | 315 kW Carport | 410 kWh storage

Century West solar carport aerial

Century west solar carport storage

This is the first interconnected solar + storage PPA project in Hawaii.
• Provides time of use shifting and back-up resiliency in event of grid outage
• Utilizes hybrid storage for both power and energy load requirements and applications
• Comprised of fully integrated power control hardware, energy management software and application specific storage
• Includes internet of energy technology to provide aggregation of distributed energy resources (DER) for grid services.

Developer: Holu Energy
Contractor: EnSync Energy Systems
Inverters: EnSync Energy
Storage: EnSync Energy

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Containerized Microgrid Project

Sonoma County, Calif. | 22 kW PV | 85 kWh storage

simpliphi battery solar storage

solar storage simpliphi container

SimpliPhi Power and Pure Power Solutions innovated a plug-and-play approach to solar + storage microgrids for remote locations with a system using standard shipping containers and energy-dense, non-toxic and safe battery technology from SimpliPhi. The first implementation of this new microgrid design to become operational saved the family-owned Vacherie Ranch from spending $500,000 to run transmission lines and connect to the grid. The full solution consists of 22 kW of solar PV and 85 kWh of SimpliPhi Power PHI 3.4 batteries. Since the system was pre-installed and configured inside the shipping container, allowing for extremely quick on-site deployment, the farm had power the same day the system was delivered. Additionally, the system is scalable, with the ability to easily expand as energy needs increase at the ranch.

Developer: Pure Power Solutions
Contractor: Pure Power Solutions
Modules: LG Electronics
Inverter: Outback Power Systems
Storage: SimpliPhi Power
Mounting: Ironridge

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Cuttyhunk Island Microgrid

Cuttyhunk Island, Mass. | 347.8 kW

cuttyhook solar island

With a modest year-around population, Cuttyhunk Island, the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands chain that lies between Martha’s Vineyard and the south coast of Massachusetts, could never justify an undersea utility cable from the mainland and has depended on diesel generators. As the island’s popularity increased, it made more financial sense for the island to go solar. Solar Design Associates developed a solar + storage/generator hybrid microgrid. The resulting black-start-capable system includes 350 kWp of PV and 1.25 MWh of storage capacity to provide the primary source of power for the island, satisfying the majority of annual requirements. The system runs in parallel with the existing gen-sets during periods of low sun. The island was accessible only by boat; a post driver, rock drill, two truckloads of racking material, six crew members and all other construction equipment had to arrive via barge. The mechanical scope of the project (post, racking and module install) was completed in 21 days. Now, the island gets about half of its electricity from the solar array during peak season

Develper: Solar Design Associates, Gosnold Electric Light Commission
Contractor: Synergy Solar, Thomas Drilling, Tug Jaguar
Modules: 1,020qty, Solarworld SW 345 XL MONO
Inverter: Princeton Power GTIB-125
Storage: Samsung Batteries
Mounting: RBI Solar


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Fort Dix Landfill

Browns Mills, N.J. | 16.5 MW

fotr dix solar storage

Largest Solar Project in New Jersey. Ballasted Landfill project on rough terrain, around vent caps that maximized coverage of all available land.

Developer: Conti Enterprises
Contractor: RBI Solar Inc
Modules: Sun Module
Mounting: RBI Solar


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Roadrunner Food Bank

Albuquerque, N.M. | 366 kW solar | 60 kW storage

This project was New Mexico’s first commercial solar + storage installation and features two Sharp 30 kW SmartStorage systems paired with the site’s existing 366 kW solar rooftop array. Sharp’s SmartStorage® system was installed to reduce the property’s peak demand usage, which for commercial and industrial customers can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. For non-profits like Roadrunner Food Bank that operate on tight budgets, every dollar not spent on their utility bill allows them to use the savings elsewhere – such as redirecting it to solving hunger. Previously, the food bank payed on average $180,000 a year in utility bills with an estimated 30 percent of that going toward demand charges. The solar + storage system is expected to save the food bank approximately $30,000 per year in utility charges. The annual savings equates to around 150,000 meals in food distributed every year.

Developer: Affordable Solar
Storage: Sharp


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Solar + Ice Partnership

Palm Springs, Calif. | 73.6 kW

The Palm Springs Cultural Center, a non-profit organization, sought to replace the building’s HVAC system after its air-conditioning systems failed in 2015. California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), combined with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, enabled the Center to install the solar-plus-ice-storage system with minimal up-front investment. The Cultural Center’s greatest energy load comes from turning on the air conditioning in late afternoons and early evenings for community events, so the new solar PV system, combined with the flexible storage and cooling solution, reduces both the Center’s energy bill and the community’s carbon footprint. The Ice Bears provide up to four hours of comfortable cooling using a fraction of the electricity normally needed.

Developer: Horizon Solar Power
Contractor: horizon solar power
Modules: Hanwha
Inverter: SolarEdge
Mounting: Ironridge

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Waialua Schools

Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii | 178.8 kW; | 469.2 kWh storage

Waialua Energy Storage between buildings

Students at Hawaii’s Waialua High and Intermediate on the island of O’ahu received a “cool” energy upgrade with solar PV and energy storage-powered air-conditioned classrooms. As part of the statewide Heat Abatement Program, hybrid solar air-conditioning units and other cooling strategies are implemented to bring relief to students currently enduring sweltering educational environments that can reach up to 100 degrees F and make learning a challenge. Estimates to install traditional grid-tied cooling totaled $1.695 billion. The Hawaii Department of Education began piloting the off-grid PV + battery air-conditioning systems, as estimates for this solution were about $140 million. In total, 21 outdoor-rated cabinets containing seven to 10 SimpliPhi PHI 3.4 kWh batteries were installed by Haleakala Solar as part of a hybrid, solar-powered, off-grid system for two or four ton air conditioners, respectively.

Developer: Haleakala Solar
Contractor: Haleakala Solar
Modules Hyundai
Inverte: Outback
Storage: Simpliphi
Mounting: Iron Ridge

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 9458 Carver Solar

Carver, Mass. | 1.142 MWdc

Carver Solar

Construction on this active cranberry plant bog required some unique installation techniques, like using plywood matting to protect the plants and ramps for egress into the bog area, but the outcome is a big win for the farm and proving a PV mounting concept. Some have argued that installing solar on usable farmland renders the land useless for agriculture, but solar farms like Carver are proving that going solar doesn’t have to mean giving up growing. In this case, the ground mount solar installation actually provided dual benefits for both the cranberries and the farm. Shade from the solar modules actually provides an ideal growing environment for the berries underneath. At the same time, the 1.1 MW ground mount system is harvesting clean energy of its own to power the farm’s operations.

Developer: Lodestar Energy
Contractor: S&C Electric Company, Synergy Solar Inc., RBI Solar Inc.
Modules: Astronergy
Mounting: RBI Solar

Head to the voting booth

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We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.

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