Solar + storage microgrid being built on Kwajalein Atoll by Hannah Solar Government Services

Hannah solar install

Energy Service Provider, Johnson Controls Federal Systems has awarded Hannah Solar Government Services (HSGS) a contract to design, engineer, and construct the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system and micro grid controlled battery storage system on Meck Island, Kwajalein Atoll for the United States Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll.

Part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is located west of the International Date Line. Kwajalein Atoll is made up of approximately 97 islands, eleven of which are leased by the United States Government. Meck Island is one of the eleven islands of Kwajalein Atoll leased by the U.S. Government and is a U.S. Army installation that contains the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site (RTS).

Near the RTS on Meck Island, HSGS will construct a 2.3 Megawatt (MW) ballasted, ground mounted solar PV system, consisting of more than 8,000 solar modules along with a 3MWh energy storage system. A micro grid system will control the power produced and storage for this energy system. HSGS will begin the installation of this solar PV system and energy storage system in the summer of 2018.

2017 Solar Builder Project of the Year Winners

Johnson Controls Federal Systems currently serves the U.S. Army under an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which is designed to finance energy conservation measures with returns generated by energy savings over time. Johnson Controls Federal Systems was confident in their selection of HSGS to perform the engineering and construction work for this project because, of HSGS’s quality past performance installing multiple solar PV systems, totaling 1.2 megawatts (MW) at Ft. Allen located in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, under their ESPC for the U.S. Army National Guard.

HSGS is a veteran-owned business specializing in the design, installation and maintenance of solar PV systems, battery energy systems and microgrids. Serving the government, commercial/industrial, and utility marketplaces, HSGS’s breadth of experience includes projects that span the continental United States as well as overseas.

— Solar Builder magazine

New Jersey water treatment plant now prepped with on-site solar-plus-storage microgrid

EOS energy storage

A 250-kW, 1 MWh Eos Aurora DC battery system was commissioned at the wastewater treatment plant in the Borough of Caldwell, NJ. The batteries are a central component of Public Service Electric and Gas Company’s (PSE&G’s) on-site solar-plus-storage microgrid that will help keep the facility operating during extended power outages. The Caldwell microgrid is part of the New Jersey utility’s Solar 4 All program.

The microgrid includes an Eos Energy Storage system and an 896 kW-DC solar PV system designed and installed by Advanced Solar Products of Flemington, NJ. Siemens Energy Management integrated the Eos Aurora system, solar facility, and existing diesel generator, using the Eos Znyth battery technology as the backbone of the microgrid to reinforce emergency resiliency for this piece of critical municipal infrastructure. Siemens also provided the intelligent control technology to monitor, manage and distribute power across the system.

The solar and battery storage systems are connected directly to PSE&G’s electric grid. Under normal conditions, the solar panels deliver power to the grid and the battery storage system can provide value-added grid services for integrating solar onto the grid and participating in ancillary markets.

The Caldwell wastewater treatment plant microgrid is part of a 3 MW-DC portion of the Solar 4 All program. The initiative develops projects that integrate solar with other technologies to reduce the impact of solar on the grid or to demonstrate reliability and grid resiliency of solar for critical facilities during prolonged power outages. The solar installation, combined with Eos’ long-duration energy storage, significantly extends backup power capacity and emergency operation of critical water treatment capabilities.

EOS energy storage

“One of the goals of our Solar 4 All program is to help support the growth and development of solar and related industries in New Jersey,” said Todd Hranicka, director – solar energy at PSE&G. “So we were especially happy to include the battery technology from a fellow New Jersey company like Eos into a project that helps make our electric system and a piece of critical infrastructure more reliable and resilient.”

Construction of the solar-plus-storage system at the Caldwell wastewater treatment plant was a joint effort between Advanced Solar Products, Eos, and Siemens Energy Management. The Eos Aurora battery system was selected on the basis of its multi-hour duration and the benefits of its simple, sustainable and inherently stable zinc hybrid cathode design.

— Solar Builder magazine

Check out this DC-coupled commercial solar+storage microgrid from ARDA Power

ARDA Power says it will be incorporating Alencon’s DC-DC Optimizer – the SPOT – into its  DC-coupled microgrid system which includes Solar + Storage. Here’s a look at how that’s going to work.


ARDA has pioneered the market for microgrids, offering a unique DC-connected microgrid solution which brings the benefits of a microgrid – including resiliency and increased use of renewables – to commercial and industrial buildings without the requirement for complex custom engineering or costly interconnect applications.

In the ARDA system, the Alencon SPOT will serve to enable the DC-coupling of solar to the ARDA microgrid, will perform maximum power point tracking (MPPT) on the PV strings, and will curtail output based on commands from ARDA’s microgrid controls. The Alencon SPOT, which creates galvanic isolation between the PV and battery DC bus, will allow ARDA’s systems to be even easier to install and safer to operate. The Alencon SPOT is the only large scale, PV DC-DC optimizer on the market today that offers galvanic isolation between the PV array and a DC bus.

“The ability the Alencon SPOT offers ARDA to isolate a potentially troublesome PV string while the rest of the solar plus storage system continues to operate is a huge benefit. Galvanic isolation of solar from the rest of the system simplifies the fundamental protection approach on a system level. Since our system is battery centric, we always have a battery on the DC bus, meaning that the fault issues that arise from the PV, if not protected against, can be more severe when high battery currents are taken into account,” states Aleksey Toporkov, the President of ARDA Power. “Alencon’s SPOT protects against such eventualities, giving our users the assurance that their system will harness and store the most possible PV power while operating with both maximum up-time and highest degree of safety.”

Alencon Systems updates its large-scale solar DC-DC optimizer

— Solar Builder magazine

Several ‘first’ achieved in this New York City apartment microgrid project

Construction work has begun on Demand Energy‘s renewable-energy-plus-storage microgrid at Marcus Garvey Village, a mixed-income apartment complex in New York City owned by L+M Development Partners. This will be the first lithium-ion battery-based microgrid in the city.

new york city microgrid


The project achieves several significant milestones for New York City’s power grid:

– First lithium-ion batteries approved for use in a behind-the-meter multi-family building application
– First renewable-energy-plus-storage microgrid in an affordable housing development
– First microgrid deployed under Con Edison’s Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management Program

“We’re proud to be designing and building the city’s first lithium-ion battery-based microgrid,” said Gregg Patterson, President and CEO of Demand Energy. “We’ve worked closely with the Fire Department and Department of Buildings in New York City to earn their approvals and achieve this milestone in storage deployment. Lithium-ion is a proven technology that offers mul-tiple advantages over other chemistries, especially in urban installations. We look forward to bringing the benefits of this first-of-its-kind microgrid to the Village’s owners and residents.”

RELATED: Microgrid capacity is on the rise in the U.S. (could reach 4.3 GW by 2020) 

Project details

The Marcus Garvey microgrid consists of a 400 kW solar PV system and 400 kW fuel cell, sup-ported by 300 kW / 1.2 MWh lithium-ion batteries and controlled by Demand Energy’s Distributed Energy Network Operating System (DEN.OSTM), which optimizes how these resources interact and perform. The system will reduce the property’s power consumption by managing the generation and storage of renewable energy to save money through demand charge reduction. It will also provide resiliency during an outage, lower operational cost, deliver essential load relief for Con Edison, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A key technical aspect of the project is the ability of DEN.OS to ensure that the housing devel-opment self-consumes any energy it generates, without exporting to the grid. That capability di-rectly aligns with Con Edison’s Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management (BQDM) requirements, which facilitated the interconnection and permitting process.

New York City has long been a strong proponent of affordable housing like the 625-unit Marcus Garvey Village. More recently, the city has advocated for increased use of renewable energy and improved energy consumption and efficiency. This landmark project combines both initiatives, with the added benefits of energy security and resiliency in the event of a power outage, as well as revenue streams from providing useful grid services.
In September 2016, New York established an energy storage goal of 100 MWh by 2020, along with an expanded solar target of 1,000 megawatts by 2030. Storage is expected to play a key role in meeting the city’s plans to cut greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050.

— Solar Builder magazine

Caterpillar completes 1 MW PV system with the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

Caterpillar Inc. sent word that Cat dealer Altorfer has commissioned a 1000 kW solar PV system in Rantoul, Ill. Built to fulfill a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), the installation was constructed on an eight-and-a-half-acre site near Heritage Lake Park and the University of Illinois Transportation Lab in a southeast section of the former Chanute Air Force Base.

caterpillar solar project 2

The agreement with Altorfer enables the IMEA to diversify its power generation capabilities by adding PV components to its existing power generation portfolio. Altorfer Power Systems leads the installation, maintenance and operation of the facility in Rantoul, which is expected to produce an estimated 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

RELATED: On the Scene: Caterpillar to deploy PV as part of turn-key microgrid solution throughout dealer network 

Caterpillar’s solar PV system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules that are setting the industry benchmark with improved performance over conventional silicon solar panels. Fully scalable and pre-engineered for quick and easy installation, the system offers reliable and predictable energy in all climates and applications with modules that are independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards.

caterpillar solar project

Caterpillar’s solar PV offering is a key component of the Cat Microgrid technology suite, an innovative lineup of power systems that adds environmentally friendly solar panels, state-of-the-art energy storage, and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of reliable power generation equipment, including generator sets, switchgear, uninterruptible power supplies and automatic transfer switches. The Cat Microgrid technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy efficiency in even the most challenging environments.

“With the cost of renewable energy rapidly declining, the use of microgrid technology is quickly becoming more popular. Advances in solar panel technology and energy storage have enabled Cat Microgrid technology to become one of the most effective ways to produce clean, reliable and affordable power,” said Rick Rathe, general manager of new ventures for Caterpillar’s Electric Power business. “Cat Microgrid technologies deliver an innovative, financially viable way to incorporate sustainable sources of energy into any existing portfolio of traditional power generation offerings.”

caterpillar solar project 3

Caterpillar is a leader in the power generation marketplace with power systems engineered to deliver unmatched durability, reliability and value. The company offers worldwide product support, with parts and service available globally through the Cat authorized service and dealer network. In addition, dealer service technicians are trained to service every aspect of Cat equipment.

— Solar Builder magazine