The city of Lancaster, California, has installed an energy storage system at its Museum of Art and History. It was connected by Green Charge Networks to store energy to be used at peak times when electricity prices are high. The energy is stored up when
costs are low, and then used again later in order to avoid having to pay for expensive electricity.
“Green Charge Networks’ GreenStationTM will reduce the museum’s demand charges thus lowering their operating costs and maximizing the building’s power efficiency. Since solar-generated power is now required for new homes in the City of Lancaster, adding intelligent energy storage will save tax dollars while creating a more flexible grid that’s ready to take solar power utilization to the next level,” said Vic Shao, CEO of Green Charge Networks. (You may remember our previous coverage highlighting Lancaster’s new law requiring solar power come with all new homes.)
The following video has some more information about the museum’s energy storage system:
Half of a residential or business electric bill can be from demand charges, so the museum is expecting to save a significant amount of money by avoiding them. The energy storage system can replace the more expensive energy. Currently, energy storage systems can’t cost-effectively be relied upon heavily, but intelligent systems can use it in bursts to avoid the most costly energy charges.
An EV fast charger that can charge to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes was also installed in the parking lot behind the museum.
Lancaster has a population of about 150,000 residents and is located approximately one hour north of Los Angeles. Adding the new energy storage system and fast EV charger, as well as the strong solar requirements, are not at all the only green efforts by the city of Lancaster. It may become the first net-zero city, or at least one of the first. Mayor R. Rex Parris has outlined a vision to invest aggressively in renewable energy and reduce energy consumption. Specifically, the city has worked to very much reduce the time required to obtain solar power project permits in order to fast-track solar growth.
Also, two southern California counties are increasing their solar power production 600% from 2013–2015.