California State University (CSU) says it is installing what will be the largest battery storage project at an educational institution in the nation—a project that is expected to reduce the university system's electric utility costs by more than $3.3 million.
University officials say that Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a company that provides energy storage systems for electric utility grid support, will initiate the project by installing and operating a 1 Megawatt energy storage system at the Cal State Long Beach campus. The company also plans to install energy storage systems at the CSU’s Office of the Chancellor and at the Dominguez Hills campus.
The installation will reduce peak energy costs and support the electric grid in the Aliso Canyon area. The first phase of the project will store enough energy to power 2,000 homes.
“By helping integrate more renewable energy onto the grid, this transformational system will support California’s environment and direct resources to support the academic mission of the CSU,” says CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea.
Workers will break ground on the storage system this summer on the Long Beach campus, and the university expects it to be completed by October 2016. Construction at the Office of the Chancellor is anticipated to begin in early 2017 and be completed by mid-2017.
The buildings use Tesla Powerpack commercial batteries to store energy during nonpeak hours, typically at night. During times of high demand, the system software seamlessly shifts buildings from the electric grid to the energy storage system. This reduces grid congestion and eases the need to build additional plants.
Cal State has 474,600 students enrolled at 23 campuses throughout the state.