There is a great Q&A by Alyssa Danigelis with Panasonic on the Environmental Leader website. Below is an excerpt and a link to the full article.
Peña Station Next, a transit-oriented mixed-use development, stretches across 382 acres near Denver International Airport. The futuristic community created in partnership with Panasonic Enterprise Solutions showcases smart, sustainable, and connected technologies. In September 2016, Panasonic Corporation of North American consolidated its operations hub for Panasonic Enterprises in Denver and become the anchor tenant.
The development now has its own renewable energy microgrid that includes rooftop solar on Panasonic’s facility, a solar photovoltaic installation over the airport parking lot, and a lithium-ion battery system. Stakeholders Panasonic, Xcel Energy, Denver International Airport, energy storage company Younicos, and developer LC Fulenwider came together to create the microgrid. The project recently won an Environmental Leader Award, with one of the judges calling it a groundbreaking effort.
Recently we caught up with Matthew Crosby, utility solutions program manager for Panasonic’s North American smart city business CityNow, to find out how diverse stakeholders joined forces around increasing energy resiliency and reliability for Peña Station Next.
How do you define a microgrid and what can they do?
There are various definitions within the industry, but we typically define it as the ability for a customer or group of customers within a utility service territory to have an island of electric grid service. That sort of backup or island capability is useful for businesses that have significantly high service level requirements.
Typically microgrids are owned and operated by a single entity — a military-style campus, a university, or even a hospital. These facilities are paying for resiliency; let’s call it insurance against grid outages. A microgrid can include any number of distributed energy resources that provide extra reliability.