At the Konterra Realty headquarters in Maryland, a new, large-scale microgrid complete with storage has been installed - one of the first commercial-scale microgrids in the US.

The "islandable" microgrid system is powered by a 402 kilowatt solar PV system, and in the event of a grid power outage, a lithium-ion energy storage system kicks in to keep critical operations going.

"Widespread implementation of grid-connected energy storage systems is key to solar PV becoming a mainstream energy supplier," says Tony Clifford, CEO of Standard Solar.

The system has the potential to reduce PV project costs and offers benefits to hosts including backup power, demand reduction and peak shaving. Moreover, it can enhance grid reliability by helping balance the grid through frequency regulation, volt-ampere reactive (VARs) compensation, and demand response services.

The project, and its funding, are part of Maryland’s push to reach its Renewable Portfolio Standard of 20 percent by 2020. Having this storage also helps support Maryland’s overall grid resilience.

"Advancing our energy storage infrastructure builds greater confidence in Maryland's grid resiliency," notes Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of Maryland's Energy Administration. "Grid storage technology also improves the delivery service of our first responders, armed services, telecommunications, waste water treatment plants, and emergency shelters."

Solar Grid Storage was founded by a group of solar veterans to supply batteries that can provide storage for commercial solar PV projects. It uses a storage-as-a-service model, costing virtually nothing to the host.

This project, while testing large-scale PV energy production and storage, can help move microgrids to a more mainstream position while helping to stabilize and improve the power grid as a whole.

To read more about the project, visit SustainableBusiness.com

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