Three central New Jersey green energy companies have joined forces to develop and operate solar projects that integrate energy storage in order to make businesses and communities more resilient to power failures. The joint venture is called the Resilient Solar Alliance (RSA), and will provide power from clean energy systems at costs lower than available through traditional power sources.
Resilient Solar Alliance makes innovative solar/battery hybrid energy systems that utilize state-of-the-art software, technology and design. Innovations developed by the alliance will drive down the cost of PV/battery hybrid systems, while increasing the revenue they create.
The three partners in the Resilient Solar Alliance are Advanced Solar Products, a “design, build and operate” solar company; Spano Partners Holdings LLC, a veteran solar power developer, project manager and financier, and A.F. Mensah, Inc, which integrates energy storage capacity to solar via battery systems, and trades various attributes of solar-storage systems in electricity markets.
RSA will break ground next month on a solar-plus-storage project for the Evesham School District in Burlington County, New Jersey, that will reduce the school district’s energy costs nearly $200,000 a year, totaling almost $3 million in savings over the 15-year term of the contract. RSA will provide on-site power generation and energy storage and will trade services provided by the stored energy on the electric grid. In addition, the energy storage systems will provide backup power in the event of a grid failure, such as during a natural disaster, enabling the district to offer emergency shelter to the community.
Adje Mensah, CEO of A.F. Mensah, explained how the economics of the project work. “RSA’s solar-plus-storage systems use batteries to enable electricity market revenues not available to traditional solar power. These additional market revenues offset capital costs that have traditionally hindered the economics of solar-storage. The ‘brains’ of the system is its proprietary, state-of-the-art software that remotely manages and monetizes energy generation by participating in ancillary markets such as frequency regulation and other load management services. RSA’s solar-based smart grid and battery storage technologies combine with data analytics to ensure continuous, cost-effective power,” he said.
“Providing continuous power during outages enables communities and critical facilities to be energy resilient,” said RSA partner Lyle Rawlings. “And being energy resilient means that you can continue providing essential services even when the grid is down.” Rawlings is president and CEO of Advanced Solar Products and a leader in the development of renewable policy and legislation. He is also president of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association.
RSA Partner Jim Spano noted the financial benefits of working with the new company. “Resilient Solar Alliance is developing innovative capital and market structures that can bring resilient solar design to communities at lower costs to ratepayers and taxpayers,” said Spano, managing partner of Spano Partners and president of the New Jersey Solar Grid Supply Association.
“During normal operation, the batteries, solar, and smart inverter functions provide a comprehensive set of capabilities that can stabilize the grid and ease the pressures that can occur on local circuits due to solar generation,” Rawlings explained. “These capabilities help make the electric grid itself more robust and reliable.”
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.