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Solar Plus Storage Boosts Fire Station Readiness


By Naomi Millán Power & Communication
Rooftop solar panels on Portland’s Fire Station 1.

Portland's Fire Station 1 has brought online the city's first solar-plus-storage microgrid in its emergency response facility portfolio. The system can supply critical loads during an extended power outage, allowing the facility to continue operating in the event of a widespread emergency.

The 30kW/60kWh solar and lithium-ion battery storage system augments the station's fuel-based generator. The 54,502 sq. ft, 3-floor facility's roof accommodates 84 solar panels. The systems' battery storage can power about three to four hours of critical load, and is designed to stretch out fuel reserves and allow continued operation in the event refueling the generator becomes impossible.

In addition to emergency power, the station's new microgrid allows for demand response functionality, and serves as a training tool for others in the fire fighting and emergency response community, according to Portland Fire and Rescue.

The project was started in 2016, and was funded by grants from Portland General Electric.

Check out drone footage of the station's setup here. 

Naomi Millán is senior editor of Building Operating Management.

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