The Microgrid Unites Natural Gas, Rooftop Solar, Geothermal and Battery Storage
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., April 28, 2015 -- Black & Veatch today celebrated the commissioning of a new microgrid system that provides power to its World Headquarters. Featuring a range of renewable energy resources and natural gas power, the system allows the company to evaluate microgrid technologies.
Microgrids are a key area of interest for many companies and municipalities seeking to lower their carbon footprint and enhance electrical power supply resiliency. The new system, which powers the Rodman Innovation Pavilion, is the first microgrid powering a commercial building in Kansas.
The system uses a combination of natural gas, solar energy, geothermal and battery storage. It can operate as an independent power source or in support of the traditional electric grid adding resiliency to the building and lowering energy costs. The microgrid provides enough clean energy to run the entire Innovation Pavilion. Area city and state officials as well as regional electric utility leaders toured the microgrid system today.
"We are excited to launch this new technology that highlights the broad range of expertise we have within Black & Veatch," said Steve Edwards, President and CEO. "It also demonstrates the strong level of support and interest in the design from our professionals who are working on sustainable solutions around the world."
Black & Veatch's system includes two natural gas-fired microturbines that deliver onsite electrical power generation. During winter months, heat is recovered from the microturbines to support heating for the World Headquarters, the largest office building in Kansas. A geothermal heat pump system with 15 wells drilled 500 feet deep helps heat and cool the Pavilion. The microgrid system also uses battery energy storage to capture energy from generation resources and deliver electricity to the World Headquarters during times of high electric demand, such as in the summer months.
To learn more about the complex interactions of the different energy technologies, Black & Veatch guests can interact with a large screen display that shows the microgrid operations in real time. The microgrid is continually monitored by ASSET360™, Black & Veatch's cloud based analytics platform. It collects data from the system and monitors the performance of each component based on factors like solar radiation, cloud cover, outside temperature and more. It calculates how much energy is being generated and used in the building. This provides the company's energy experts with insights on ways to improve system operations.
"The new microgrid allows Black & Veatch to demonstrate technologies that have strong interest from global clients wanting some combination of greater electric resiliency, control and sustainability," said Dean Oskvig, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's energy business. "Integrating and operating these technologies first hand helps us more effectively serve clients pursuing those objectives. Over time, we can demonstrate how such systems can successfully integrate into the grid."
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2014 were US$3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.