NEWS IN THE WORLD OF POWER AND INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS
Unique Microgrid to Provide Vermont Town With Resilient Power
> AN UNUSUAL, groundbreaking solar
plus energy-storage microgrid project
in Rutland, Vt., was recently announced.
The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is being developed by Green Mountain Power in collaboration with Dynapower and GroSolar.
This unique federal-state-nongovern-mental organization partnership involves
the state of Vermont; the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity; and
the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership, while Sandia National
Laboratories are funding the energy-storage component of the project.
Microgrids, such as Stafford Hill, are
modern, small-scale versions of the centralized electricity system. They are designed to achieve specific local goals, such
as reliability, carbon emission reduction,
the wider distribution and diversification
of energy sources, and cost reductions.
“This project is a national model for
the future of clean energy, combining
solar with energy storage,” said Lewis
Milford, president of Clean Energy
Group, which manages the Clean En-
ergy States Alliance. “Solar power and
battery storage will provide clean, reli-
able power to a school that serves as an
emergency shelter, helping a commu-
nity cope with loss of power in a future
disaster. This new form of resilient
power is what all communities need to
protect themselves from power outages
in severe weather events.”
Imre Gyuk, energy storage program
manager at the DOE’s Office of Electric-
ity Delivery and Energy Reliability, said
the project will benefit the grid at other
times as well.
“The technical innovations will reduce cost and make the project commercially viable,” he said.
The Rutland project is one of the first
exclusively solar-powered microgrids in
the United States, the first to provide full
backup to an emergency shelter on the
distribution network, and the first solar-plus-storage microgrid to be developed
on a brownfield site.
It incorporates 7,722 solar panels, capable of generating 2. 5 megawatts (MW)
of electricity with 4 MW of battery storage, using both lithium-ion and lead-acid
batteries to integrate the solar generation
into the local grid, and provide backup
power in case of an outage.
The solar-power system will employ
multiport inverters designed specifically
for the project by Dynapower, a local
This project puts Rutland and Vermont
in the forefront of the movement toward
microgrids, energy storage and smart-grid
modernization. Solar-plus- storage and
microgrid technologies are poised to revo-
lutionize resilient power, bringing clean,
locally generated power to communities
similar to Rutland all over the world.
LEED Enters a New Era of Cooperation With Chemical Industry
> FALLING SOMEWHAT outside ofthe scope of the electrical
industry, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
[LEED] green building standard has been embroiled in a long-running controversy with the nation’s chemical manufacturers. That feud recently took an unexpected turn when the two
sides discovered they shared a common goal.
Much to the surprise of those who have been following
the ongoing antagonism between the two parties, the U.S.
Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced a new initiative in late August.
The cooperative effort will manifest itself in the form of
the “supply-chain optimization working group,” which will
include representatives from both organizations. The driving
principal of this new effort will be to harness the collective
expertise of both organizations for the purposes of updating
and refining the LEED standards.
LEED is the world’s most recognizable and enacted stan-
dard for green building certification. It addresses building
materials, technology and design to minimize waste and pol-
lution and maximize energy efficiency and human health in
the construction and occupancy of buildings. The standards
are updated regularly through a rigorous process.
The heart of the controversy between the USGBC and the
ACC has been the application of standards to chemicals that
are present in some building materials. By the USGBC’s own
description, one of LEED’s goals is to optimize the use of
natural resources in the construction of buildings.
The ACC has long objected to the manner in which LEED
measures the hazards posed by the presence of chemicals.
It would like to see the use of a risk assessment method that
measures the hazards posed by certain levels of exposure
rather than just looking at whether or not the material is
present regardless of the amount. The LEED version 4 credit,
dealing with material ingredients (MRc4), will address this