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Peña Station NEXT is a 382-acre transit-oriented development located along the train line linking downtown Denver, Colorado with Denver International Airport (DEN). The area is a proving ground for Colorado’s vision of an innovative “live, work, play” aerotropolis and will feature a variety of sustainable solutions, including a solar-plus-storage microgrid. Project partners are Panasonic as well as the local energy provider Xcel Energy and Denver International Airport. Together, they invested nearly $4 million in the project.
The Peña Station NEXT microgrid consists of a 1.6 MW carport solar PV system and a 259 kW rooftop solar PV array installed atop Panasonic’s building. Panasonic, Xcel and the Denver Airport were looking to optimize the performance of the PV installation as well as to increase resiliency and improve power quality at the site. The Xcel Energy feeder for Peña Station NEXT already has 20% solar penetration and is expected to have 30% by the time the project is completed in the first half of 2017.
Younicos has designed and built a system that makes it possible to take advantage of the revenue stacking opportunities afforded by a flexible, intelligently managed energy storage resource. Four Y.Cubes were installed at the Panasonic facility. The one-megawatt (MW) storage resource is connected to the Xcel Energy power grid and provides six services:
Ramp Control for Solar Smoothing:
The battery system charges and discharges to manage rapid fluctuations in Panasonic’s solar PV outputs. The ramp rate is limited to about 10% of the total capacity. This equates to limits of approximately -180 kW/min to +180 kW/min.
Solar Time Shifting:
Solar time shifting stores excess energy when solar generation output is high and dispatches that energy later in the day. This approach helps manage loads on the feeder, preventing potential backflow during times of surplus solar generation and reducing peak demand.
Grid Peak Demand Reduction:
This service will be event-based, set to charge and—more importantly—discharge the battery based on certain times of year when historical data has shown Xcel Energy’s grid to exhibit high demand, such as hot summer afternoons when air conditioning load creates additional demand.
This use case is fairly straightforward: charge the battery when prices are low, discharge when prices are high. The battery produces an automated response when receiving energy price signals ($/KWh).
The battery provides frequency regulation as part of ancillary services, delivering relatively high value without compromising other use cases. Customers with strict power quality needs, such as data centers or high-tech manufacturers, benefit from this use case.
Resilience Through Backup Power:
The facility includes a network operations center for a nationwide network of PV assets. Therefore, maintaining essentially 24/7/365 uptime is critical. A portion of the battery’s capacity will therefore be reserved to provide an estimated four hours of backup power.
George Karayannis, VP of Panasonic CityNOW
Adding battery storage to the facility made it possible to meet all project requirements, enabling a standalone microgrid as well as the capability for solar self-consumption and export to the grid. The project is now a showcase for clean, on-site energy generation and efficient consumption. In fact, the Peña Station NEXT system will be net-positive energy, with substantial surplus solar power until enough of the development is built out for local demand to absorb the solar generation.
faster than the blink of an eye is the reaction time of the battery park.
to provide six different services.
are the heart of the storage system.
Younicos installed a 1 MW/2 MWh lithium-ion Y.Cube system with inverter and controls. Each Y.Cube consists of a power conversion system and a DC battery block. The controls are embedded in the PCS and communicate directly with the battery system for ultra-fast response time and enhanced grid-forming capability.