Konterra Solar Microgrid Project
- System Specs | 402.3 kW
- System Production | 515,790 kWh annually
- Environmental Benefits | Offsets CO2 from 41,168 gallons of gasoline annually
The Konterra Solar Microgrid project in Laurel, Maryland is one of the nation’s first commercial scale solar grid-interactive battery storage systems. A true game changer for the solar PV industry, the Konterra Solar Microgrid project was developed through a partnership with Konterra Realty, Standard Solar Inc. (SSI), the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), and Solar Grid Storage (SGS). The project consists of a 402.3kW solar canopy, a 300kwh commercial scale back-up battery system, and two electric vehicle charging stations with infrastructure for four additional stations. This innovative clean energy generation technology produces 515,790kWh annually and offers new benefits such as battery back-up against grid outages, which provides solar powered energy for critical loads.
Konterra Realty is committed to environmental stewardship. They support sustainable development and value the importance of minimizing the potential environmental impacts of developments in their surrounding communities. It was a “no brainer” for Konterra to add a solar energy system to their list of sustainable efforts. Standard Solar was selected as the trusted partner to develop and install their solar system. Through a partnership with SGS, the group decided to develop much more than the typical solar electric system and applied for an MEA Game Changer grant. The Konterra headquarters building was the ideal site for the installation of one of the nation’s first grid-interactive energy storage systems, co-located with a solar photovoltaic array.
The solar microgrid project allows Konterra to gain the energy independence they sought, and the battery storage component provides them with the security of having enough solar powered energy to power their headquarters during power outages. “Widespread implementation of grid-connected energy storage systems is key to solar PV becoming a mainstream energy supplier,” said Tony Clifford, CEO of Standard Solar. “As one of the nation’s first commercial microgrids, this project is truly a game changer for PV. Not only does it provide backup power to Konterra, it also supports grid integrity and allows for participation in ancillary markets for electricity. The commercial potential of grid-based solar storage is enormous, and we are honored to be leading the way in partnership with SGS, MEA and Konterra.”
The project is financed by the Kingdon Gould Jr. family and is also an award recipient of an MEA “Game Changer” grant. Created to provide cost sharing grants for innovative clean energy generation technologies and market strategies in the state of Maryland, the game changer grant funds projects based on their ability to help the State meet its renewable energy portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2022. “Advancing our energy storage infrastructure builds greater confidence in Maryland’s grid resiliency,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, MEA Director. “Grid storage technology also improves the delivery service of our first responders, armed services, telecommunications, waste water treatment plants, and emergency shelters.”
With one of the nation’s first commercial solar microgrid installations at its headquarters, Konterra is reducing its use of non-renewable natural resources while providing stability to the grid, green power to electric vehicles, and backup power to its building during outages. “Konterra is excited to power up with solar energy coupled with innovative storage capacity, while now contributing to the ambitious Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard goal that Maryland has set for 2022,” said Melissa Gould, Konterra’s Director of Sustainability Initiatives. Konterra is designed to be a sustainable mixed-use community in which healthy working and living environments incorporate innovative technologies and renewable energy solutions.
The solar microgrid project produces 515,790kWh annually, which is enough to power 57 American homes and eliminate greenhouse gas equivalent to the emissions of 41,168 gallons of gasoline per year. At peak capacity the parking canopy, which has 1,368 panels, will supply up to 20 percent of the building’s annual energy production. Incorporating grid-integrated storage with the PV system has the potential to reduce PV project costs and offers new benefits to hosts including backup power, demand reduction, and peak shaving. This grid-interactive energy storage system will enhance the solar photovoltaic market and promote new revenue streams for the industry.