A winery in Sonoma, California called Stone Edge Farm is launching an innovative solar plus storage microgrid. The microgrid, which uses solar PV and storage, is designed to provide electricity to a number of buildings on the site, including the primary residence, offices, and workshops. When the sun is up, the PV provides energy for the buildings and charges the batteries. At nighttime hours and periods of cloud cover, the batteries provide energy for building loads.
The system consists of fourteen 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 30-kW multi-port power conversion system. The Ideal Power multi-port system architecture enables the direct DC-level connection of solar PV and energy storage in one package. Aquion’s battery technology uses saltwater chemistry and the batteries are designed for daily deep cycling in long duration (4+ hour charge/discharge) applications.
The microgrid was developed by Wooster Engineering Specialties, a general engineering contractor. The services it will provide to Stone Edge Farm include the ability to self-consume the solar, peak shaving and load shifting. While the microgrid is grid-tied, it is capable of islanding and operating autonomously. The companies said that it also generates sufficient energy that Stone Edge Farm is able to sell a substantial amount of the energy produced back to local utility PG&E.
“Microgrids utilizing renewable energy and energy storage technologies will be a crucial part of the global energy infrastructure moving forward,” commented Dan Brdar, CEO of Ideal Power. “This project will provide an important model for the development of microgrids in the future. We’re proud that our power conversion system was selected as part of this Aquion project to help lay the foundation for new energy applications.
Ideal Power and Aquion previously announced a technology partnership in which they tested Ideal Power’s power conversion systems alongside Aquion’s AHI batteries to ensure seamless interoperability and optimal performance for a range of applications. This project is the first commercial deployment of the two companies’ technologies alongside one another for an energy storage application.
According to Stone Edge Farm, the original goal was to reduce their carbon footprint by 50 percent but after exceeding this in just one year, they’ve set a new goal to reduce their footprint until it is below 100 percent.