LITTLE ROCK, ARK./ MARCH 12, 2019 (STL.News)
Today’s Power Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., announced today that it will be deploying two 6MW/13MWh lithium ion energy storage systems (ESS) in the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The systems, which will operate under a long term agreement between Today’s Power and Ozark Electric Cooperative, are designed to assist in the integration of more renewable energy sources for the local cooperative and help to reduce the electric load during monthly and seasonal peak demand events. This load reduction results in savings for the local electric cooperative and helps to stabilize rates for consumers. Both energy storage systems are being placed on a portion of the grid which has large solar arrays with the intent of charging the lithium units purely from sunlight.
Today’s Power who delivers innovative new technologies to utilities throughout the South Central US recently signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Northern Reliability, Inc. (“NRI”) from Waterbury Vermont and will be contracting directly with NRI for the design and build of both systems.
TPI will manage project construction and provide full operations and maintenance of the solar arrays and energy storage facilities during the 20-year agreement, leasing the necessary acreage from the City. The systems will operate on Fayetteville’s two water treatment facility properties, the Paul R. Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility (east Fayetteville) and the Westside Water Treatment Facility. Ozarks Electric will upgrade and maintain existing electricity connections at the sites. The City will continue its income-producing hay and bio-solid operations at the Noland facility.
“This year, the City Council showed great vision and leadership for their residents when they approved the Energy Action Plan in January 2018,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “Through this important agreement with Today’s Power and Ozarks Electric, the Fayetteville community moves closer to several goals in the Plan. The approval of this solar power and storage project creates the renewable energy our community desires, uses existing City-owned assets more efficiently, adds jobs and promotes economic development.”
“This will be the largest solar system on municipal land and the only one that has a utility scale storage system in the state,” said Michael Henderson, President Today’s Power. “To get a project like this one off the ground, requires a lot of work by a lot of people but Peter Nierengarten with Fayetteville, Troy Scarbrough with Ozarks and Matt Irving with Today’s Power were instrumental in working out the details and bringing it to the finish line,” he added.
“This transaction could not have happened if it were not for Net Metering legislation introduced in 2017. The Arkansas Public Service Commission and the legislators are to be commended for their foresight,” Henderson, who is also the Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (the parent company of TPI ) said.
“Our relationship with Today’s Power comes at a very opportune time with the US Cooperatives just beginning to embrace energy storage as mainstream technology,” remarked Gregg Noble, NRI’s Vice President of Sales. Noble continues, “Today’s Power brings to the table two key elements necessary for the integration of energy storage into the cooperative grids across the US market; Number one, they are a known and trusted entity within the cooperative space being owned by cooperative and being a division of one of the largest equipment distributors in the market. Number two, Michael and his team understand not only the technical benefits of energy storage, but equally as important the financial constraints placed on cooperatives. Today’s Power has developed a business model that will make adopting ESS solutions beneficial to the utilities immediately and over the long term. This leaves our team at NRI purely focused on delivering the highest quality energy storage product and support. It is exactly where we want to be, and with precisely the right type of partner.”
NORTHERN RELIABILITY, INC. (“NRI”) is a US-based power systems integrator and engineering firm based in Waterbury, Vermont whose team has been working in the energy storage field for nearly forty years. Initially formed as the energy storage and solar division of Northern Power Systems in Burlington Vermont, the NRI engineers broke off to become a separate organization in 2007. Having designed and deployed over 1000 off-grid and microgrid power systems around the planet since the early 1970’s, the NRI team recently made news again in T&D World Magazine 2017 and 2018 when it was awarded a unique $1.3M Grid-Tied Distributed Energy System Project for Xcel Energy in Denver, CO. http://www.northernreliability.com
TODAY’S POWER, INC. was created in November 2014 by Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) to serve Arkansas electric cooperatives by offering community solar projects to their members. Today’s Power has expanded its product and service offering for the electric cooperative and public power sectors interested in solar and other emerging technologies such as electric vehicle charging and energy storage. Based in Little Rock Arkansas, Today’s Power now works with utilities outside their original membership throughout the South Central and Southeast United States to develop and deploy innovative power solutions which benefit both the utilities and the communities which they serve. http://www.todayspower.com/