A microgrid for solar power and storage successfully replaced diesel in a remote Alaskan town

The question of the reliability of solar panels has existed since the inception of the industry, in part because solar panels do not operate efficiently in cold or snowy conditions. This myth has been shattered time and time again with the deployment of a very small but very significant solar microgrid and storage project in Alaska.

Blue Planet Energy successfully deployed this one-of-a-kind project to support the residents of Shungnak, a remote community above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

The microgrid was designed to address the many challenges of operating in extreme conditions and end the community’s reliance on its expensive and polluting diesel generator power plant.

The resilient microgrid consists of a 225 kW solar panel that can offset a large portion of Shungnak’s energy needs.

The system is integrated with 12 Blue Ion LX 32 kWh battery system cabinets, each storing excess energy for later use.

In addition to reducing the city’s carbon footprint, the system significantly reduces high fuel and maintenance costs associated with the operation of diesel generators in remote Alaska.

The microgrid system is specially designed to allow diesel-free operation.

With Ageto’s ARC microgrid controller solution, The system can automatically coordinate solar power and energy storage to ensure the cheapest energy, and communicates with the AVEC plant to determine the best times to stop diesel production. When the sun shines less during the winter months, the batteries can still be recharged by generators if needed.

This solar plus storage system is expected to save 95,000 liters of fuel per year, an estimated savings of $200,000 per year in fuel costs. Additionally, it helps develop a framework that can be replicated in other remote communities.

Generating electricity in rural Alaska is extremely difficult, between flying fuel into town by plane or boat and battling temperatures that can freeze generator motors. Lighthouse projects like this hold promise for Alaskans and rural communities around the world for an energy-resilient future.

Ava Gibson, sales manager for Blue Planet Energy.

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Shungnak relied on a diesel-based power system, and many children never experienced village life without the constant hum of diesel in the background or the smell of exhaust fumes.

Blue Planet Energy played a key role in the success of this project. Thanks to the energy storage system, we can turn off the diesel engines but keep the lights on in the community. Plus, it offers the local business the ability to run on 100% clean energy for hours.

Rob Roys, Director of Innovation at Launch Alaska.

Going through www.blueplanetenergy.com

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