Resilience Project in Atlanta to Provide Energy Equity as an Energy Storage Model

West Atlanta has the world’s largest and oldest association of historically Black universities and colleges, including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College and Morehouse College. According to the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, low-income residents in Atlanta pay more than four times more for power than the residents in the North, with the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy also revealing that nearly 35% of Hispanic and Black households in the city also experience a high energy burden. To combat this energy inequity, Morehouse College plans to build a resilience center on campus grounds that will operate on solar power.

The center has been designed to be supported by a solar-powered microgrid with the solar energy being stored in batteries. This will offer valuable resources to residents who are part of the community as well as the college’s students, especially in the event of a grid-scale power outage.

The project was initiated in 2019 by a not-for-profit organization known as Groundswell in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center. Groundswell’s objective is to build community energy resilience. Partnership for Southern Equity, a not-for-profit organization based in Atlanta that advances shared prosperity and racial equity through institutional and policy actions, is also part of the project. The initiative also features the construction of a separate resilience center that has also been designed to operate on solar power. This center will also have back-up battery storage to store unused energy.

Project developers have yet to finalize microgrid design plans and are deliberating on the use of the different battery-capacity options, such as 24 hours, 12 hours and 8 hours. They explain that 12 hours of back-up power would need a battery with 4,800 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity, noting that an increase in the duration of back-up power would directly correspond to an increase in the cost of the project, which would be driven by the battery capacity required.

In the future, resilience centers will become essential for community well-being, especially during times when extreme weather events threaten to uproot the lives of many and cause widespread power outages.

The initiative’s partners received technical support as a group that took part in the Solar Energy Innovation Network by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This is in addition to facilitating shareholder engagement from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Lab. Georgia Power is also aiding in the development of this project. Project construction is set to begin next year, with plans showing that the resilience center is tentatively scheduled for completion by 2023.

As more companies, including StorEn Technologies Inc., go to market with other battery storage chemistries, communities like those in West Atlanta will have a bigger pool to choose from when designing energy-resilience projects.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StorEn Technologies Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/StorEn

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