NAWIC Today Sept.-Oct.

The Burt County Solar-Plus-Storage project is a public-private partnership between Burt County Public Power District (BCPPD) and Bluestem Energy Solutions that was constructed by Boyd Jones. This 2 MW solar plus 6 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) is the first utility-scale solar-plus-storage project in Nebraska and is among only 15 utility-scale (over 1 MW) solar projects in the state. Every element of the solar array is designed to maximize sun exposure to ensure the greatest output of energy onto the power grid or into storage. This project is designed for the highest level of function utilizing cutting-edge technology, featuring two arrays totaling 2 MW from 5,000 solar PV modules and Tesla Megapacks capable of storing 6 MWh of electricity. Megapacks represent a sustainable alternative to power plants that operate when the local utility grid cannot provide enough power to meet peak demand and cost millions of dollars per day to operate. The project supports residents across five counties where agriculture is the primary industry. These projects were built with the needs of local farmers in mind. Load management is critical for public power districts like BCPPD, as peak demand for electricity in the area can be determined and forecasted from common usage patterns. Center pivot irrigation is the primary driver of peak demand in this area, and the peak load-shaving capabilities of this project will have a positive impact on customers’ energy bills through active management of battery storage output during the hours or seasons of highest use, ultimately enabling the utility provider to avoid using other more expensive sources of power.


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