Enel X, UMass sign deal for solar-storage hybrid on campus

The advanced energy services wing of Italian-based Enel Group will install a 1-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and companion battery storage system at the University of Massachusetts campus in Boston.

The long-term agreement between Enel X and UMass includes installation of 11 JuiceBox electric vehicle smart charging stations along with the solar array and 0.5 MW/2-MWh lithium-ion energy storage system. The campus solar-storage project is expected to be operational by the first half of 2020.

“The UMass Boston project underscores Enel X’s ability to deliver solutions that help customers meet their energy and sustainability goals,” Surya Panditi, head of Enel X in North American, said in a statement. “Our benefit share financing model enables the university to implement this project at no upfront capital expense.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Enel X will purchase, install and operate the system on behalf of the university. The 1 MW rooftop solar facility, designed and developed in partnership with solar photovoltaic solutions firm EnterSolar, is expected to generate up to more than 1,200 MWh annually of renewable energy.

Through the integration of the PV facility with the lithium-ion energy storage system, UMass will be able to generate and store renewable energy to be used when electricity costs are highest whereby reducing the campus’s grid dependence and energy spending by more than $1.5 million over the life of the contract, according to the release.

The  project will utilize Enel X’s Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Optimization software. Enel X’s JuiceBox charging stations will monitor and adapt to changes in local energy markets, allowing for charging to be adjusted based on renewable energy availability or energy costs at any given time.

Enel X and UMass Boston will share in the economic benefits that are set to be created through the project’s enrollment in the MA SMART Feed-in-Tariff, local utility peak energy efficiency programs.

The project will also allow the participation of the battery storage system in the ISO-New England’s demand response program, which pays large energy consumers to reduce their electricity consumption in response to grid system needs, as well as providing incremental payments if and when they are dispatched.

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Solar power, energy storage and the combinations possible by both will be part of the discussions and content at POWERGEN International happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans. POWERGEN includes an Energy Storage Breakthroughs track upstairs in the Summit, as well as a Decentralized Energy Knowledge Hub on the exhibit floor.

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