Energy Storage, Commercial, Solar  -  January 25, 2019

Michigan’s first rooftop solar + storage premieres

Michigan’s first-ever rooftop solar array and battery storage system has begun operation at the Bridge Street Market and adjoining buildings within Circuit West, a 13-block district of Grand Rapids. The system includes nearly 1,800 solar panels accompanied nearby by a 500-kilowatt battery.

A release from Consumers Energy called the system “the first such energy distribution setup in Michigan and one of the first in the country intended to make renewable energy increasingly reliable and cost-effective.”

“Today, there is very little storage on the grid, so electricity is generated just moments before you use it,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of operations. “With large batteries, we will make our grid more efficient, effective and sustainable. It’s a critical part of Michigan’s energy future and it’s happening here at Circuit West.”

“This rooftop solar array can power up to 100 homes and is part of Consumers Energy’s commitment to increasing our use of renewable energy to 40 percent and ending our use of coal to generate electricity,” Rochow said. The Circuit West battery, which goes into commercial operation in a few weeks, joins a 1-megawatt battery installed last fall at the company’s Parkview Substation on Western Michigan University’s Kalamazoo campus. Rochow said Consumers Energy is studying each battery’s performance to determine how to best use and integrate the technology across the electric distribution grid.

 

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