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Enel X Launches Microgrid at Service Station in Massachusetts


Enel X has completed construction of an innovative microgrid that leverages solar energy and battery storage to support service station.

Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of the Enel Group, and Global Partners LP, one of the Northeast’s largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of energy stations and convenience stores, announced Alltown Fresh® in Ayer, Massachusetts will now be more resilient in the event of a local power outage, due to an innovative microgrid.

The microgrid will offer on-site generated power to Alltown Fresh Ayer by integrating solar panels on the canopy, a battery storage unit, and a portable generator connection, all designed, built, operated, and financed by Enel X. To support EV drivers, Enel X installed a universally compatible JuicePump 50kW, which can charge vehicles up to 80% battery capacity in 30 to 60 minutes.

“The increasing frequency and impact of extreme weather events underscore the need for far more sustainable and resilient power, especially for critical infrastructure,” says Surya Panditi, Head of Enel X North America. “However, solar energy paired with battery storage is not only valuable during emergencies. The Alltown Fresh microgrid is attractive to EV drivers who want to power their vehicles with renewable energy, and it’s valuable to businesses to support the local grid by decreasing overall demand and reducing emissions while reducing costs.”

The microgrid is the first project to be completed under InnovateMass’ Resilient Service Stations Challenge, which seeks to ensure continuous power for service stations near evacuation routes across the state.

Enel X also partnered with National Grid under the EV Make Ready Program to upgrade the grid to support EV charging, power for the service station, and interconnection of the distributed energy resources co-located behind the same meter. This is expected to be the first commercial deployment of its kind, demonstrating the efficient use of utility incentives.

“National Grid is proud to support the first location to combine DCFC with solar panels and a battery storage system in Massachusetts”, says John Isberg, VP of Customer Sales and Solutions at National Grid. “Our partnership with Enel X will help National Grid prepare for increased demand from electric vehicle charging stations by using innovative system design to mitigate the impacts of DCFC charging on the grid and maximize the benefits of increased electric vehicle adoption. We are proud to support this initiative and look forward to the future learnings from the launch of this project.”

Gas stations and convenience stores provide critical refueling, water, food, Wi-Fi connection, and other services for the general public, first responders, and utility crews during emergencies. Yet, these stations are subject to the same grid power losses as other buildings. Like the one at Alltown Fresh Ayer, microgrids can change that by providing backup power and resilience while increasing the adoption of clean energy and electric mobility solutions.

More than a fueling station, Alltown Fresh Ayer, the location of the microgrid, offers fresh bean-to-cup coffee, Wi-Fi, and workspaces to connect laptops. Additionally, fresh food from a locally sourced, scratch kitchen, provides guests with an array of made to order offerings and fresh food choices.  These amenities make EV charging a seamless enjoyable, and convenient experience, supporting more drivers in their transition to electric mobility.

“As we explore the future of energy stations and convenience, we’re focused on three things: customer experience, resilience, and embracing EV charging and other renewable fuels,” says Mark Cosenza, Senior Vice President, Global Partners LP. “Every day, we fuel the human journey, whether it is with a fresh cup of coffee, scratch made salad, fuel, or a quick charge, and our commitment to that is only heightened during emergencies. We’re adding critical resiliency to our operations through this microgrid, supporting our customers already enjoying a healthier, more sustainable convenience station experience with EV charging powered by renewables. It’s truly a win-win-win.”

The Alltown Fresh Ayer microgrid incorporates Enel X’s portfolio of distributed energy and electric mobility solutions, including an 87 kW / 174 kWh battery, an 87 kWp PV rooftop solar array, and a 50 kW DC fast charging station, supported by Enel X’s Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Optimization software (DER.OS) and JuiceNet software and JuicePass for EV drivers. By integrating the system behind the same meter, on-site solar power will help charge electric vehicles (EVs). During a grid outage, the facility’s critical loads can continue to be powered.

Enel X’s innovative microgrid solution is modular and scalable for the growing number of fleets and businesses sustainably electrifying their infrastructure while saving on energy costs. Enel X offers a flexible financing solution bundling all microgrid assets to support businesses in resiliency efforts. The customer pays a flat rate for the solar power generated, receives a share of the energy storage asset’s financial benefits, and keeps the EV charging revenues.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) launched the Resilient Service Stations Challenge to seek innovative solutions to offer measurable energy resilience to service stations while boosting clean energy adoption across the state.

“MassCEC is dedicated to accelerating clean energy technologies, companies, and projects that support the vibrant and growing clean energy industry in the Commonwealth,” says Jennifer Daloisio, CEO of MassCEC. “We’re pleased to support the Enel X microgrid project as it provides a clean, renewable solution to simultaneously reduce the electricity costs of a service station, and ensure its resilience during a power outage.”

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