Utility Tampa Electric Co. (TECO) has bought, put in and obtained regulatory approval for Emera Technologies’ BlockEnergy microgrid platform to be used in a pilot program serving Southshore Bay residential improvement, a group south of Tampa, Fla. The solar-plus-energy storage microgrid, absolutely owned and operated by TECO, permits elevated operability, safety and grid resilience to mitigate excessive climate and different occasions that may affect electrical utility grid uptime. BlockEnergy microgrid additionally gives TECO with an economical solution to provide a distributed clear energy useful resource to its Southshore Bay prospects and to rapidly advance its imaginative and prescient to realize a net-zero carbon future.
The Southshore Bay residential group, developed in partnership with home builder Lennar Homes and land developer Metro Development Group, is comprised of 37 new properties all outfitted with absolutely built-in, shared rooftop solar PV techniques. Each home has a battery storage and power digital management system, or BlockBox, which connects to the neighborhood distribution community, the place it communicates and shares energy as wanted throughout the group. A central energy park is positioned close to the doorway of Southshore Bay, containing supplemental batteries, non-obligatory further technology to be used throughout outages and a connection to the electrical utility power grid.
With this utility-owned enterprise mannequin, owners nonetheless pay for electrical energy on the identical metered charge as they usually would, with no further grid fees or different charges. By being a part of the BlockEnergy community, as much as 80% of their home energy comes from the solar with out having to rent a solar contractor to put in a rooftop PV system, undergo the allowing and interconnection course of, after which function and keep the system.
“We are continually striving to find new ways of bringing smarter, cleaner and more reliable energy to our customers,” says Dave Pickles, vp of electrical supply of Tampa Electric. “The BlockEnergy microgrid pilot project is a promising solution that brings a new layer of control, operability and flexibility. It’s one that can directly benefit our customers and help us to realize our net-zero vision.”
“We developed our BlockEnergy utility-owned business model with the charter to find a win-win solution for utilities, homeowners and regulators to offer clean, reliable energy to homeowners,” states Rob Bennett, CEO of Emera Technologies. “We are excited TECO is leading the way by adopting BlockEnergy for Southshore Bay and providing a model residential community that other utilities can learn from, follow suit, and continue to make the necessary changes we need for a cleaner, more grid-resilient future.”
After two years of pilot testing and optimizing the platform at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico – in collaboration with Sandia Laboratories – BlockEnergy obtained approval from the Florida Public Service Commission for Southshore Bay as a four-year pilot challenge. The Tampa Electric information additionally comes on the heels of Emera Technologies’ current UL 9450 fireplace and security certification for the energy storage management system built-in with the BlockEnergy platform.
“We are looking at sustaining infrastructure and ensuring mission readiness in a way that is safe, secure, reliable, and cost-effective,” commens Colonel David Miller, the previous commander of Kirtland Air Force Base. “The Emera project is right in line with what we are trying to do. This also positions us as a leader in helping the state of New Mexico meet 2045 renewable portfolio standards, while testing an innovative and practical approach to energy surety and resiliency.”