N.M. Nonprofit Expects Solar+Storage Savings To Help Feed Hungry

Posted by Joseph Bebon on September 06, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Projects & Contracts

Sharp Electronics Corp.’s energy systems and services group teamed up with local company Affordable Solar Installation Inc. (ASI) to provide a commercial solar-plus-storage installation for Albuquerque, N.M.-based nonprofit Roadrunner Food Bank.

The installation, which signals Sharp’s entry into the New Mexico market, features two Sharp 30 kW SmartStorage systems paired with the site’s existing 366 kW solar rooftop array. Sharp says its SmartStorage system reduces the property’s peak demand usage.

According to the company, peak demand charges are the fastest-growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50% of a company’s monthly utility bill. For charities like Roadrunner Food Bank, every dollar saved allows them to use the savings and redirect it to solving hunger. Currently, the food bank pays on average $180,000 a year in utility bills, with an estimated 30% going toward demand charges. The solar-plus-storage system is expected to save the food bank approximately $30,000/year in utility charges. The annual savings equates to approximately 150,000 meals in food distributed every year.

“This installation is one of the largest rooftop arrays in the state of New Mexico, but is arguably one of the most important. The additional power savings provided from the array, combined with the new Sharp SmartStorage system, will have long-term ramifications for hungry New Mexicans across the state, with every dollar saved equating to five meals,” explains cTeresa Johansen, chief operating officer of Roadrunner Food Bank.

Carl Mansfield, general manager and founder of Sharp’s energy systems and services group, added, “While California has been the hotbed for energy storage, there are other markets like New Mexico that are increasingly viable for energy storage applications for peak demand reduction.”

ASI opted for Sharp’s 10-year asset management service agreement and demand reduction guarantee, meaning all routine and unscheduled maintenance is included, and if guaranteed demand reductions are not met, Sharp will compensate for the deficit in promised peak demand reductions.

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