Commercial-Scale Solar Microgrid Stabilizes Grid, Provides Backup Power to Corporate Headquarters

Standard Solar installed a grid-interactive energy storage system co-located with a 1,368 panel PV array creating one of the nation’s first commercial scale microgrids. The 402 kW groundbreaking system, located at Konterra’s corporate headquarters in Laurel, MD, is estimated to generate 20 percent of the building’s annual power.

The canopied solar array, which includes two electric vehicle charging stations with infrastructure for four additional stations not only produces clean electricity but can also provide new benefits such as backup emergency power, demand reduction and peak shaving. In the event of a grid power outage, the advanced energy storage system allows critical circuits at Konterra to remain energized.

“Widespread implementation of grid-connected energy storage systems is key to solar PV becoming a mainstream energy supplier,” said Tony Clifford, 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 MEA and Konterra.”

The project was an award recipient of a Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) “Game Changer” grant which was created to provide cost sharing grants for innovative clean energy generation technologies and market strategies in the state of Maryland.

Grid-integrated Solar + Storage Reduces Costs, Offers Benefits Including Demand Reduction and Peak Shaving

The solar microgrid project produces 515,790 kWh 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. 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 concept has enhanced the solar photovoltaic market and promotes new revenue streams for the industry.