Michigan energy provider Consumers Energy has dedicated a solar-plus-storage project located in Grand Rapids’ west side, a “vibrant and growing” area of the city, according to Consumers.
Nearly 1,800 solar panels were installed atop the Bridge Street Market and adjoining buildings between Bridge and First Streets within the Circuit West district. The arrays are accompanied by a 500 kW battery located a block away.
According to the utility, the project represents Michigan’s first combined rooftop solar array and battery storage system.
“Today, there is very little storage on the grid, so electricity is generated just moments before you use it,” states Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of operations. “With large batteries, we will make our grid more efficient, effective and sustainable. It’s a critical part of Michigan’s energy future, and it’s happening here at Circuit West.”
“With this first-of-its-kind solar/battery storage system, west Michigan is leading the way to our clean energy future,” says U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “Projects like Circuit West will ensure more families and businesses have greener and more reliable energy.”
Stabenow was joined by leaders from Consumers Energy, Rockford Construction and the City of Grand Rapids to celebrate the project today at the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, one of the many new buildings springing up within Circuit West.
The battery, which goes into commercial operation in a few weeks, joins a 1 MW battery installed last fall at Consumers’ Parkview Substation on Western Michigan University’s Kalamazoo campus. Rochow says Consumers is studying each battery’s performance to determine how to best use and integrate the technology across the electric distribution grid.
Consumers will also construct a new office building within Circuit West. Construction is expected to begin later this year.