To help meet the City of Austinâ€™s goal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity generation by 2035, Austin Central Library (ACL) is utilizing energy management technology from Apparent, Inc. to gain 30 percent higher utilization out of one of downtownâ€™s largest solar arrays. Apparentâ€™s cloud-based, intelligent grid operating system (igOS) is managing the 180 kW solar array at the library, consisting of 555 325-watt solar panels and Apparentâ€™s proprietary microinverters. The system produced 157.35 MWh in 2019.
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Apparent was the only energy management company capable of meeting Austin Energyâ€™s strict grid synchronization requirements, with a hardware and software solution that results in more than $100,000 in annual savings, enough to power 130 households per year.
â€śWith consumer-based clean energy generation expected to increase by 50 percent between 2019 and 2024, the Austin Central Library is a great example for cities to mirror,â€ť said Jacqueline DeSouza, President of Apparent, â€śAs distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles, are adopted at growing rates, being able to use their energy generation and storage potential transforms energy from a commodity to a controllable asset.â€ť
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Apparent technology monitors ACLâ€™s demand and, working in sub-seconds, matches available solar generation to the facilityâ€™s energy needs. This real-time process enables the inverters to maximize solar generation and use behind-the-meter. Apparent met Austin Energyâ€™s required management scope for an interconnected behind the meter distributed energy generator by ensuring ACLâ€™s solar system would not export (backfeed) any energy to the grid and could read, reckon, and react to signals from the utility in three-seconds or less.
The systemâ€™s self-diagnosis capability to shut down individual inverters while still allowing the rest of the inverter string and system to operate was also a crucial functionality.
Today, ACLâ€™s solar generator managed by Apparent operates seamlessly with the local grid while keeping costs down and lowering the libraryâ€™s carbon footprint. In addition, the technology is plug-and-play, making the transition seamless for library staff.
Apparentâ€™s energy management platform actively manages clean energy from any connected source to provide the exact amount of energy where and when itâ€™s needed. In the case of ACL, Apparent prevents power from going where itâ€™s not needed or required by the building or local grid. Apparentâ€™s unique solutions present applications for a new energy market that connects behind-the-meter consumer supply and demand with the energy market.