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Las Piedras microgrid

Eaton, Enel X announce second Puerto Rico microgrid project

The two companies team up to deliver sustainable and resilient solar energy at a manufacturing facility in Las Piedras

Published on October 22th , 2021

What are the benefits of microgrids?

Power management company Eaton and Enel X have announced plans for a second joint solar-plus-storage microgrid project at the Eaton Las Piedras manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico. Microgrids are a sustainable way to meet a country’s growing energy needs from renewable sources while helping to fight climate change. They also improve quality of life for consumers because they make the electricity supply more reliable and resilient, especially under extreme weather conditions. This is important because large-scale power outages have increased by 67% since 2000 and continue to impact millions of communities and businesses in the US, according to Climate Central. Microgrids can counteract these events by balancing where, when and how electricity is consumed, including during blackouts. They also provide added value by generating renewable energy from solar panels. This energy can be consumed, or stored and delivered back to the local grid to reduce stress on regional utility infrastructure.
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About the Las Piedras project

The solar-plus-storage microgrid at the Eaton Las Piedras manufacturing plant will integrate nearly 5 MW of solar photovoltaic energy and approximately 1.1 MW/2.2 MWh of battery storage into the facility’s onsite power generation systems. In addition to increasing the plant’s resilience, the solar-plus-storage system will enable Eaton to generate, store and consume green energy. It will also be able to support the local grid by discharging renewable energy back into it, reducing emissions by limiting the need for carbon-intensive electricity during peak demand periods.

The second microgrid project in Puerto Rico

The Las Piedras microgrid will be the second Enel X project at an Eaton manufacturing site on the island, after the microgrid system at the Eaton Arecibo site. Enel X and Eaton won a Top Project of the Year Award in the elite Environment + Energy Leader Awards program for the Arecibo microgrid. Both microgrids are designed to hurricane code in Puerto Rico and able to withstand Category 5-strength hurricane-force winds.

In response, Eaton requested support from Enel X, which designed a microgrid to enable the Las Piedras facility to maintain operations in case of utility power disruptions and to ensure its over 1,000 employees can continue working.

 

Together, the Arecibo and Las Piedras microgrids will cut emissions by 8,345 metric tons in the first year of operations, create new construction jobs in the community, enable significant cost savings over the next 20 years, and contribute 10 MW of solar PV and 2.23 MW/4.46 MWh of battery storage in the country by 2022.

 In this way they will reduce demand on regional energy infrastructure, enable Eaton to power manufacturing with more renewables and boost energy resilience for its operations.

Enel X technology + services: a winning combination

Like all Enel X storage deployments, the microgrid will work efficiently thanks to Enel X’s Distributed Energy Resources Optimization Software (DER.OS) and its unique capabilities to maximize the value of the project across multiple applications, leading to bill savings through incentive and flexibility programs, grid services, and more. Under the terms of the agreement, Enel X will build, own and operate the system on behalf of Eaton. This is an example of how Enel X's business solutions enable commercial & industrial customers and partners to meet their sustainability goals and deliver reliable power.

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