Here are the Microgrid nominees for the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year Awards, sponsored by EagleView Technologies. Accurate data, virtual site assessments, and installation-ready designs will optimize your solar sales funnel and operations — learn more in this EagleView special report Breaking Down and Through Soft Costs.
The form is at the bottom of the page. You are allowed to vote once per day from now until Friday Oct. 14 at midnight (EDT). Winners will be announced and prominently featured in the Q4 issue of Solar Builder magazine and online in December.
Pittsburgh | 160 kW + 250 kWh
Fifth Season – based in Pittsburgh – is one of the key players in the growing vertical farming space. The indoor farm uses 97% less land and 95% less water than traditional farming. To ensure cheap, clean and reliable power, this modular microgrid sits behind the meter, utilizing a combination of solar PV panels, lithium ion batteries, and a natural gas generator outfitted with advanced emissions control technology. One of the unique technical features is that the solar panels used on this project have a peel and stick application that doesn’t require a frame or mounting equipment, making for extremely light construction, eliminating the need to make structural changes to existing roofs.
Developer: Scale Microgrid Solutions | EPC/Installer: Envinity | Modules: MerlinSolar | Inverters: SMA | Storage: Schneider Electric | Racking: None needed
Shungnak Community Microgrid
Shungnak, Ala. | 225 kW + 384 kWh
In the remote village of Shungnak, Alaska, residents have long relied on a diesel-based power plant system. Fuel costs soar above $8.25 a gallon, and the hum and exhaust smell of generators is constant. This solar + storage microgrid offers a promising, energy resilient future. Uniquely designed to enable a diesels off operation, the system automatically coordinates between solar and energy storage to ensure lowest cost power and communicates with the AVEC power plant on the best times to turn diesel generation off. The microgrid is expected to save 25,000 gallons of fuel per year and an estimated $200,000 per year on fuel costs. This microgrid project is also helping develop a framework that can be replicated in other remote communities.
Developer: Northwest Arctic Borough with funding from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) | EPC: Alaska Native Renewable Industries and Daylight Energy Services | Installer: Alaska Native Renewable Industries | Modules: LG | Inverters: EPC Power | Storage: Blue Planet Energy | Racking: AP Alternatives
Walnut Grove Demonstration Facility
Walnut Grove, Miss. | 2.57 MWdc + 5.14 MWh
This is the first microgrid project of its kind in Mississippi and the first Mississippi Power Company owned solar + storage project. Designed as a demonstration to test several variables, it incorporated a 5.14 MWh battery storage system coupled with the 2.57 MWdc PV array on a dc bus through a bi-directional inverter, which in turn is cabled directly to the MPC transformer. The project consisted of a primary PV array and six test block arrays each with a dc-dc converter. Test block configurations varied in kW output and were designed/constructed to test efficiencies between various bifacial and monofacial modules configurations with dc optimizers. In addition, the various configurations of the test blocks will explore efficiency and resiliency of different technologies over the life of the project that may benefit the industry long term.
Developer: Southern Company | EPC: Asset Engineering & Axis Energy, Inc. | Installers: Axis Energy, Jones Power | Modules: Qcells | Inverters: Dynapower and Alencon | Storage: LG Energy Solutions | Mounting: OMCO Solar
2022 POY Vote | Microgrids
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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.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch — in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don’t have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.