Note: Enel X Solar Plus Energy Storage Plus EV Charging Project at the University of Massachusetts Boston is a winner of an E+E Leader Top Project of the Year Award. Download the ebook containing a complete list of the 2020 winners here.
What the Judges Said: â€śCombined photovoltaics and storage for peak shaving and electric vehicle charging are the way industry is moving â€” and should continue to move.â€ť
Energy solutions company Enel X began construction on a behind-the-meter project that includes solar power, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging stations at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus in the second half of 2019.
Massachusetts is one of the states advancing the use of battery storage, creating growth opportunities for hybrid projects like solar plus storage, according to Enel X. As the companyâ€™s first solar plus storage system in the market, the UMass project received a grant from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage program through the Department of Energy Resources and was administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in 2017. The project also taps into the stateâ€™s new Clean Peak Standard, which provides incentives for renewable energy technologies that supply electricity or reduce demand during peak periods, Enel X said.
The project includes a 1-MW rooftop photovoltaic system combined with a 0.5 MW/2.0 MWh battery storage, and 11 Enel X JuiceBox electric vehicle smart charging stations. The rooftop solar facility should produce more than 1,200 MWh annually of renewable energy, contributing to Massachusettsâ€™ goal of becoming net-zero by 2050, according to Enel X. The EV charging stations use cloud software to monitor and adapt to changes in
the local energy market so that charging can be adjusted based on renewable energy availability or energy costs. The company said that its Distributed Energy Resources Optimization Software, paired with machine learning technologies, allows the system to predict energy load and optimize energy usage, preventing stress on the electrical grid.
Enel X said that commercial solar developer EnterSolar was a key partner in the PV development. The project is part of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, which compensates behind-the- meter solar power capacity and creates opportunities for C&I energy users to integrate solar plus storage systems cost-effectively.
The solar plus storage project should reduce the campusâ€™s electrical grid dependence and energy spending by more than $1.5 million over the life of the project once itâ€™s operational, Enel X said. The company added that its collaboration with UMass allows the university to demonstrate leadership on generating and
storing renewable energy this way. In addition, Enel X anticipates that the hybrid system will serve as a living laboratory for UMass students.