SimpliPhi battery bank helps D.C. elementary school better use excess solar generation

A SimpliPhi Power battery system was installed at an elementary school in Washington, DC to help the school make better use of its existing solar power system.

Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School is a public school in a deprived DC community that installed a 200 kW solar panel in late 2019 to meet its energy needs and sells a 30 kW surplus back to the utility through net metering. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and forced the school to switch to distance learning, the excess solar energy produced was 90 kW – well above the net meter agreement with local utility company Pepco, for export to the United States. just .

To maximize the solar panel investment for the school, meet the imposed export limit of 30 kW per day, avoid system shutdowns and capture valuable surplus renewable energy, SimpliPhi Power has a 60 LFP battery. kWh designed bank to store the excess solar energy. Pepco uses the excess energy generated and stored in the SimpliPhi battery to provide additional capacity to the low-income community surrounding Ludlow-Taylor as part of Solar energy for everyone, a program of DC’s Department of Energy and Environment.

“Promoting a reliable and equitable network requires innovation, and we are proud to partner with these bold thinkers to provide the Ludlow-Taylor school with a creative and cost-effective energy system,” said Francisco Morocz, CEO of Heila Technologies . “We hope this project can be an example of what’s possible for other low-income communities looking to reap the economic and resilient benefits of renewable energy.”

The specific system requirements and required capabilities were developed by Amidus consultants in collaboration with EPC Suncatch Energy and SimpliPhi Power application engineers.

“SimpliPhi Power believes that access to clean and affordable energy is fundamental to economic growth, social justice and environmental sustainability,” said Catherine Von Burg, CEO and co-founder of SimpliPhi Power. “By turning to battery storage to solve the cost hurdles of its existing solar panels, Ludlow-Taylor Elementary can feel confident that its system is resilient and secure, while paying dividends to boost the school’s operating budget and the wider community. “

To enable advanced functionality for this impactful solar and energy storage system, SimpliPhi Power turned to Heila Technologies’ Heila Edge platform to integrate the solar panel and batteries with advanced system controls and functionality. Using Heila’s distributed control software, the school can connect, manage and optimize these DERs remotely.

With the addition of an intelligent energy storage system to the existing solar panel, Ludlow-Taylor can now provide itself with clean energy, support the surrounding community, realize significant cost savings to free up critical funding for school resources and ensure resilient operations in the event of power outages.

In the US, low-income households face a disproportionately higher energy burden, defined as the percentage of gross household income that is spent on energy costs. According to the Ministry of Energy, the national average energy burden for low-income households is 8.6%, three times higher than for non-low-income households.

While there are greater opportunities for energy and cost savings for these households, low-income communities face barriers to accessing energy technologies that make energy more affordable, such as solar and battery systems. New partners Community Solar and SimpliPhi Power have taken up these challenges and have worked to bring solar energy to the communities – such as the Washington DC neighborhood around Ludlow-Taylor – that need it most.

As the needs of the Ludlow-Taylor community continue to evolve, the school can easily expand its renewable energy ecosystem in the future by leveraging the scalable nature of the Heila Edge platform and the modular building blocks of SimpliPhi Power’s battery systems .

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