UMass Boston is working with Enel X, the advanced energy services division of Enel Group, to bring renewable energy plus storage to its urban campus. In addition, the partnership will see 11 Juice Box smart chargers from Enel’s eMotorWerks division installed throughout the campus.
“This project demonstrates the breadth of innovative technologies and services Enel X provides to customers that deliver cost savings and manage their energy needs, while also uniquely serving as a tool for students through hands-on learning opportunities,” said Surya Panditi, head of Enel X North America, in a press release. “The UMass Boston project underscores Enel X’s ability to deliver solutions that help customers meet their energy and sustainability goals. Our benefit share financing model enables the University to implement this project at no upfront capital expense.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Enel X will purchase, install, and operate the system on behalf of the University. The 1 megawatt (MW) rooftop solar facility, designed and developed in partnership with leading US provider of solar photovoltaic solutions EnterSolar, is expected to generate more than 1,200 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy every year.
Utilizing a 0.5 MW/2.0 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system, UMass Boston will be able to use the stored electricity when energy from the local grid is most expensive. The system is expected to save the university more than $1.5 million over the life of the contract. The system is expected to be operational by the middle of 2020.
“UMass Boston is home to a student body, faculty, and staff committed to sustainable energy,” noted UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “This innovative collaboration with Enel X will enable us to take the campus to the next level by generating and storing energy in a fashion that minimizes our costs and maximizes the value of the solar energy we generate on the rooftop. We look forward to working with Enel X to pioneer this technology and lead the way for other organizations that will benefit from the savings and efficiency it produces.”
The battery storage system will allow the system to participate in ISO New England’s demand response program. Such programs pay large energy consumers like manufacturing facilities, government agencies, and commercial real estate companies to adjust their power consumption depending on the needs of the utility grid. Demand response provides greater grid flexibility and more efficient use of power infrastructure, which helps keep electricity prices as low as possible for all consumers.
The JuiceBox chargers will be connected to smart, cloud-based software which will monitor and adapt to changes in local energy markets, allowing for charging to be adjusted based on renewable energy availability or energy costs at any given time. Enel X operates more than 50,000 electric vehicle smart charging points in 20 countries.
UMass Boston consists of 10 colleges and graduate schools serving more than 16,000 students. Known for its innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. And now it will be leading by example as the renewable energy revolution moves forward.
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