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Go Electric to Build Solar-Storage Microgrid, Provide Uninterruptible Power for Hawai'i's Largest Cattle Ranch

Go Electric will build a 400-kW microgrid that is to serve as an uninterruptible power supply for Parker Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in Hawai'i. 

Located on-site at the ranch in Waimea on the island of Hawai'i, the grid-connected microgrid will rely on solar PV generation, battery-based energy storage, back-up diesel generation and Go Electric's microgrid control technology to power Parker Ranch's water pumping operations and several small commercial activities near the microgrid. 

The combination of distributed energy resources is expected to enhance energy resiliency, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts, as well as contribute to achieving Hawai'i's statewide renewable energy, energy storage and climate change goals. 

“Island” mode microgrid power 

The microgrid will be able to disconnect from Hawai'i Electric Light's, operating autonomously in “island” mode so as to provide power to the ranch even in the event of grid outages. It will also provide ancillary, grid-stabilization – peak shaving and voltage and frequency regulation – services to HELCO, which enhances the project's economics, according to Go Electric.

“The Go Electric microgrid underpins the three major strategies at Parker Ranch – Energy, Agriculture and Community Development,” said Dutch Kuyper, Parker Ranch president and CEO. “Through energy resiliency we’ll enable a sustainable future for the Ranch, the community, and the Big Island.”

“This microgrid is a unique nexus of energy, agriculture, and water,” added Go Electric CEO Lisa Laughner.  “We are delighted to be part of Parker Ranch’s resiliency vision while contributing to the broader grid resiliency on the Big Island.”

An Indiana-based clean energy innovator 

An expansion of Go Electric's manufacturing floor at the Flagship Enterprise Center in its hometown of Anderson, Indiana got a boost in September, courtesy of a $738,100 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The manufacturing co-working development project is expected to create, or keep, more than 125 jobs and attract additional, private investment of as much as $5.6 million, according to the federal agency. 

Go Electric has also had success working with the U.S. military. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Go Electric a contract valued at $297,769 to develop “a portable, modular, self-forming microgrid for use in harsh, mobile applications,” according to a news release.

“Go Electric is proof-positive that commercial energy teams have much to learn from their counterparts in the military, and that energy innovation is by no means confined to a coastal states such as New York and California,” according to GreenBiz, which awarded Go Electric one of 20 VERGE Vanguard Awards for demonstrating “the promise of the clean economy: the vast opportunities that exist around the globe and at all income levels for healthier, prosperous and sustainable communities, solving some of the planet's most pressing social and environmental challenges.” 

“The Anderson, Indiana-based venture, helmed by former Rolls Royce corporate ventures executive Lisa Laughner, is winning accounts with its mission to provide uninterruptible power to organizations fretting over grid resilience. Its patented technology, called Lync DR, integrates renewable energy with a microgrid controller, lithium-ion batteries and power conversion,” GreenBiz stated in a press release.

*Photo: Parker Ranch, Waimea, HI; courtesy Parker Ranch

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