The Demand For Clean Solar Electricity.
I believe that we cannot count on governments to move us away from fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy. As individuals we need to make our voices heard not only at the voting boxes but also with the products we buy and therefore the companies that we support.
As consumers we should be excited that for the first time there are commercially available options ( cost effective options ) that when combined can result is zero energy bills, zero emissions and complete independence from the utility grid. Utilities are probably not as much of a fan for residential solar plus energy storage and the concept of net-zero.
Companies that listen and care about the concerns of their customers by pushing the envelope when it comes to their adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency and water efficiency practices should and will flourish.
The most forward thinking of these companies are not only adopting renewable energy both onsite and offsite, but they are also starting to employ new energy storage technologies.
Energy storage needs the greatest of support as researchers work to develop cost competitive solutions. When it comes to storing clean energy in the form of electricity so far only batteries and now super-capacitors come to mind.
In fact there is a growing list of such companies.
Hydraflow and SolarCity have installed a one megawatt solar power system and 250 kilowatt (500 kilowatt hours) energy storage project at Hydraflow’s headquarters in Fullerton, California. Hydraflow, which designs and manufactures flexible light weight hose assemblies, fluid couplings and quick disconnects for use in engineered aerospace and defense systems, is expected to save more than $3.5 million over the next 30 years by purchasing affordable solar power and energy storage at a discount to utility rates.
Paul Rodolf, Director of Operations, Hydraflow commented:
Our original goal was to offset 75 percent of our energy needs, but with the effect of our recently installed LED lighting and solar power system, we hope to realize a net offset of closer to 90 percent of our overall energy needs.
Because corporations and large businesses like Hydraflow are subject to peak demand charges, storage solutions can minimize these charges and provide additional savings by dispatching solar energy when it’s needed most.
The project is equipped with DemandLogic™, SolarCity’s smart energy storage system for businesses, to store 500 kilowatt hours of solar energy capacity onsite.
Hydraflow will not only utilize affordable solar power to lower its costs compared to currently utility rates, but will further reduced energy costs by using stored electricity to minimize peak demand.
Along with solar power, Hydraflow has already modernized its 174,000 square foot facility with approximately 400 LED lighting fixtures and installed a lighting control system to further increase efficiency and reduce peak demand to avoid additional costs. With Hydraflow’s goal of increasing energy efficiency in mind, Hydraflow has advanced its Environmental Management System and Environmental Policy through the use of solar power and energy storage.
The solar power system is expected to prevent more than 18,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere over the next three decades. That’s equivalent to taking more than 3,800 cars off the road for a year or powering more than 3,800 average homes for a year.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.