Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar - January 8, 2019
University adds Iowa’s first solar + storage
Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Iowa premiered a new solar power plant that also incorporates battery energy storage, calling it the first system of its kind in the Midwest. The system is expected to cut the University’s utility costs by 30%.
The plant, designed and installed by Ideal Energy, Inc., powered up for the first time in mid-December. The system features a 1.1-megawatt single-axis tracking array uses motors and a predictive algorithm to rotate solar panels throughout the day, which generates around 15% more energy annually than a fixed-tilt array of comparable size, according to a statement from the company. The system also includes a 1.05 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system that works in tandem with the solar system to reduce energy costs via peak shaving.
The statement noted, “MUM has long had a strong commitment to sustainability. Achieving a high renewable energy share is an important part of that commitment and a major milestone on the path to a carbon-neutral campus.” The University's new solar and storage power plant, along with two smaller solar arrays and a small wind turbine, will bring the University's renewable energy share to 43% and will directly power 1/3 of the campus's electricity usage.
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