EnSync has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with The Michaels Development Company to build a solar plus energy storage system at the Keahumoa Place affordable housing development, a greenfield project that is expected to complete construction in 2019.
The project – the highest valued in company history – will employ EnSync Energy’s innovative True Peer-to-Peer DC-Link technology to enable residents to directly exchange electricity with each other based on the energy needs of each individual unit, increasing energy efficiency and lowering electricity costs for the entire network.
Savings from the PPA will finance the construction of a 750-kilowatt photovoltaic panel-covered canopy that will simultaneously produce energy and shade the development’s parking lot, as well as a 500-kilowatt hour energy storage system, with individual modules interconnected by the proprietary True Peer-to-Peer DC-Link behind each unit’s utility meter. The system will be managed by the EnSync DER FlexTM Internet of Energy monitoring and control platform.
The pioneering True Peer-to-Peer DC-Link technology results in dramatically increased energy efficiency across the network of residences. When a residential unit generates energy in excess of its load, it will charge the unit’s energy storage battery. Once the battery reaches full capacity, any additional energy generated then enters the DC-Link, a platform that interconnects individual residential units behind their utility meters and channels this electricity to other units in the network that demand more energy than they are generating or storing. The export and import from each unit is then metered and reported to the utility, though the True Peer-to-Peer network can also be deployed as a non-export system.
“True Peer-to-Peer revolutionizes the economics of solar plus energy storage in residential properties like Keahumoa, by dramatically reducing the negative impacts of vacancy rates, absence during peak generation times, vacation schedules and micro-loading effects within each unit from appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners,” said Brad Hansen, president and CEO of EnSync Energy. “By increasing efficiency across the peer network, the system lowers costs and makes solar energy financially accessible to residents of affordable housing. EnSync is particularly proud that our largest project to date in scope will also contribute to a clean energy future for all income levels, in Hawaii and elsewhere, with this technology and this project.”
“Hawaii is among the most expensive places to live in the United States,” said The Michaels Development Company Regional Vice President Karen Seddon. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with EnSync Energy on an innovative renewable energy program that matches our mission to create high-quality affordable housing by delivering reliable, low-cost electricity to our future residents.”
EnSync Energy is working on the project with Hawaiian Electric, to interconnect the system to its grid in accordance with tariffs set by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. The utility will provide power to future Keahumoa residents as an on-demand back-up resource. In return, its grid will benefit from an aggregated, more stable load profile than those of most multi-residential units, which often generate fluctuating, inconsistent loads.
“Hawaii’s energy transformation enables Hawaiian Electric to implement innovations to build a leaner, greener grid that delivers renewable energy to all Hawaii residents,” said Colton Ching, Senior Vice President, Planning & Technology at Hawaiian Electric. “We look forward to working with EnSync Energy to implement its automated technology in Hawaiiand make distributed energy resources affordable across income levels, facilitating widespread deployment of clean energy in the state.”