Aquion Energy and Ideal Power have teamed up to provide storage capability to a microgrid that enables a California winery and farm to be energy self-sufficient.
Aquion supplied its aqueous hybrid ion batteries for the project, connecting them with Ideal Power's grid resilient 30-kW multi-port power conversion system as part of a microgrid at Stone Edge Farm, a 16-acre organic winery and farm in Sonoma County.
The grid-tied microgrid, developed by Wooster Engineering Specialties, is capable of islanding and operating autonomously and of generating enough energy that Stone Edge Farm is able to sell some of the energy back to Pacific Gas and Electric.
Microgrids were once mainly used to ensure redundancy for critical operations such as police headquarters and hospitals, but as they become more prevalent, their uses are also expanding as storage capability is added to the systems.
A report from GTM Research projects that microgrid capacity in the United States will rise 127% by 2020 to more than 2.8 GW from 1.3 GW at the end of 2015.For some, the attraction of a microgrid is its ability not only to provide resiliency, but to reduce consumption of electric power produced by conventional fossil fuel technology.
An energy storage installation recently completed by Aquion Energy and Ideal Power for Stone Edge Farm provides the farm and winery the capability for solar self-consumption, peak shaving and load shifting services.
The solar + storage installation is part of the farm's microgrid and is designed to provide energy for a number of buildings on the site, including the primary residence, offices and workshops.The microgrid will also help Stone Edge Farm to achieve its goal of attaining zero carbon dioxide emissions.
During daylight hours, solar PV provides energy for the buildings and charges the batteries. During nighttime hours and periods of cloud cover, the batteries provide energy for building loads.
The system consists of 14 25-kWh Aquion M-Line battery modules providing approximately 350 kWh of energy storage capacity, connected to a 32-kW solar array using Ideal Power's conversion system that enables the direct DC-level connection of solar PV and energy storage, designed to eliminate the complexities and redundancies of AC-coupled systems.
"This project will provide an important model for the development of microgrids in the future,” Dan Brdar, CEO of Ideal Power, said in a statement.
Aquion, with Sonnedix, is installing a system in Puerto Rico designed to test the ability of Aquion’s aqueous hybrid ion batteries to provide long-duration discharge from a storage facility.
Correction: An earlier version of this post indicated that the microgrid at Stone Edge Farm is not operational. According to a spokesperson from Aquion, the facility is currently up and running.