Viridity Energy has announced that Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University and its hospital will use the company’s services to develop and implement a large-scale energy storage project.
Viridity says that this development may help Jefferson’s Center City Campus to become a key building block in a potential Center City microgrid. This could help businesses across downtown Philadelphia, by increasing the use of renewables, hedging against volatility in electricity prices, and reducing the risk of power outages, the company said.
The project will allow Jefferson to manage its on-site and renewable energy resources through Viridity’s dynamic load control optimization system. This will include the capability to store electricity at or near the Jefferson site for later use, when it might better serve operational needs and financial opportunities.
“Philadelphia is on its way to having one of the first grid-scale urban energy storage systems in the U.S., making it a leader and a model that others will want to emulate,” Viridity president and CEO Audrey Zibelman said. “Large hospitals and research oriented academic campuses are by nature some of the biggest energy users out there, which offers up a host of opportunities for savvy administrators to save huge sums by managing their resources more strategically.”
Jefferson recently acquired one-third of its electricity supply from the 102 MW Locust Ridge II wind power project developed by Iberdrola Renewables in Schuylkill County, Pa. The university has been seeking ways to optimize this intermittent resource, because wind power’s output is variable and does not necessarily match the variations in an organization’s electricity usage, or in wholesale power prices.
Viridity Energy says it is working on energy optimization projects with other institutional leaders in the region, such as Drexel University and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and is in discussion with the Center City District about how to include many downtown commercial buildings in a larger local grid.
The company is also working with the University of California, San Diego to optimize its distributed resources, such as photovoltaics, with battery and chilled water storage, dispatchable generation (such as cogeneration and gas turbines) and demand-side management capabilities. The aim, Viridity says, is to transform the university’s portfolio of buildings “into a unified, dispatchable energy asset”.