Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, today announced that it is powering a first of its kind solar photovoltaic (PV) system with battery storage for Green Mountain Power (GMP), a utility company in Rutland, Vermont.
This pioneering project, developed and owned by GMP and installed by groSolar,received the 2015 Project of Distinction Award by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).The 2.5 MW Suniva-powered solar farm covers approximately ten acres of land on the closed capped Rutland City landfill, an important part of GMP’s effort to make Rutland the Solar Capital of New England.
In addition to repurposing a brownfield and supplying the utility’s grid with energy, the innovative project will also provide a source of electricity to the adjacent emergency shelter at Rutland High School in the event of power outages and extreme weather. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is the first project to establish a micro-grid powered solely by solar and battery back-up, with no other fuel source
“As an industry leader in the solar space, we are constantly sourcing the highest quality materials for our installations”, said Rod Viens, executive vice president of groSolar.
“We knew that Suniva’s high-powered Optimus modules would be the best solution for this first of its kind application due to its high power and durability.”“This landmark project is a milestone for the solar industry and we are proud to be the supplier of the modules,” said Matt Card, vice president, global sales and marketing of Suniva.
Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell had this to say:
Our high-powered Optimus solar modules enable a three-fold solution: clean power to the community,a backup system providing energy security and the reuse of land.Stafford Hill is a major break through in creating more resilient and strong communities throughout Vermont.
This innovative project is also a terrific example of how, working together, we can transform space that would otherwise be unusable into something that is critical to the community in times of need.
The backup power is stored in the battery containers where the inverters are also located and has synchronized controls which permit on-demand integration with the utility grid. When needed, the battery backup micro-grid system will be able to provide up to 3.2 MWh of stored energy to the shelter and other connected loads.