Black & Veatch, an employee-owned international engineering company, has converted part of its Kansas headquarters to a microgrid, leading a trend we’ll see much more of.
Another trend is to combine natural gas with various renewable energy sources, in this case solar, geothermal and batteries to store energy.
The system completely powers the 30,000-square-foot pavilion with 1300 megawatt hours a year.
It consists of:
- 2 natural gas-fired microturbines (130 kilowatts) provide electricity and during the winter, waste heat is recovered to heat the building.
- A geothermal heat pump system with 15 wells drilled 500 feet deep heats and cools the building.
- 50 kilowatts of solar divided among three rooftop systems.
- Lithium batteries store 100 kilowatt-hours, releasing electricity when demand is high, mostly in the summer.
The glass building has the microgrid:
The microgrid is continually monitored by a cloud-based analytics platform which tracks the performance of each component based on factors like solar radiation, cloud cover and outside temperature. It calculates how much energy is being generated and used, helping energy staff improve on the system.
"The new microgrid allows Black & Veatch to demonstrate technologies that have strong interest from global clients wanting some combination of greater electric resiliency, control and sustainability," says Dean Oskvig, CEO of Black & Veatch’s energy business. "Integrating and operating these technologies first hand helps us more effectively serve clients pursuing those objectives. Over time, we can demonstrate how such systems can successfully integrate into the grid."
The Rodman Innovation Pavilion is the centerpiece of a $60 million renovation and expansion of Black & Veatch headquarters. It also has a 15,000 square foot green roof planted with sod.
Read our article, Consortium Forms to Accelerate Microgrids in US.