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UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project

University of Massachusetts will generate and store renewable energy to be used when electricity costs are highest so reducing the campus’s grid dependence and energy spending.

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Solar will help to lower the university campus' grid dependence
Solar will help to lower the university campus' grid dependence

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston is to install a 1 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery storage to reduce grid dependency and power smart charging stations at the campus.

 

The agreement with Enel X, the Enel Group’s energy services business line, will see it deliver the rooftop PV system, combined with a 0.5 MW/2.0 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system and 11 JuiceBox electric vehicle (EV) smart charging stations for public use. The project is expected to be operational by the first half of 2020.

 

Sustainable energy

 

“UMass Boston is home to a student body, faculty, and staff committed to sustainable energy. This innovative collaboration with Enel X will enable us to take the campus to the next level by generating and storing energy in a fashion that minimises our costs and maximises the value of the solar energy we generate on the rooftop” said Katherine Newman, interim chancellor, UMass Boston.

 

“We look forward to working with Enel X to pioneer this technology and lead the way for other organisations that will benefit from the savings and efficiency it produces.”

 

Under the terms of the agreement, Enel X will purchase, install and operate the system on behalf of the university. The 1 MW rooftop solar facility, designed and developed in partnership with US provider of solar photovoltaic solutions, EnterSolar, is expected to generate up to more than 1,200 MWh annually of renewable energy.

 

Through the integration of the PV facility with the lithium-ion energy storage system, UMass will be able to generate and store renewable energy to be used when electricity costs are highest whereby reducing the campus’s grid dependence and energy spending by more than $1.5m over the life of the contract, noted Enel X.

“We look forward to working with Enel X to pioneer this technology and lead the way for other organisations that will benefit from the savings and efficiency it produces”

According to Enel X, the project will utilise its distributed energy resources (DER) optimisation software, and its capabilities to “maximise the earnings potential across multiple options”, such as demand and energy management programmes.

 

Meanwhile, the JuiceBox charging stations will use cloud software to monitor and adapt to changes in local energy markets, allowing for charging to be adjusted based on renewable energy availability or energy costs at any given time.

 

Enel X also said it will ‘leverage’ its market expertise to provide UMass Boston with access to potential future programmes, such as the Clean Peak Standard, which provide incentives to clean energy technologies that supply electricity or reduce demand during peak periods.

 

“This project demonstrates the breadth of innovative technologies and services Enel X provides to customers that deliver cost savings and manage their energy needs, while also uniquely serving as a tool for students through hands-on learning opportunities,” added Surya Panditi, head of Enel X North America.

 

“The UMass Boston project underscores Enel X’s ability to deliver solutions that help customers meet their energy and sustainability goals. Our benefit share financing model enables the university to implement this project at no upfront capital expense.”

 

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