Standard Solar and Solar Grid Storage recently partnered to install a grid-interactive energy storage system co-located with a new photovoltaic (PV) array, creating one of the nation’s first commercial-scale micro-grids.

Located at Konterra’s corporate headquarters in Laurel, Md., this islandable micro-grid system is powered by a 402kW solar PV array. In the event of a grid power outage, the Solar Grid Storage advanced lithium-ion energy storage system allows critical circuits at Konterra to remain energized. The project is financed by the Kingdon Gould Jr. family and supported through a Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) “Game Changer” Grant.

“Widespread implementation of grid-connected energy storage systems is key to solar PV becoming a mainstream energy supplier,” said Tony Clifford, CEO of Standard Solar. “As one of the nation’s first commercial micro-grids, this project can truly be a game changer for PV. Not only does it provide backup power to Konterra, but it also supports grid integrity and allows for participation in ancillary markets for electricity.”

The system has the potential to reduce PV project costs and offers new benefits to hosts including backup power, demand reduction, and peak shaving. Moreover, the system can enhance grid reliability by helping balance the grid through frequency regulation, volt-ampere reactive (VARs) compensation, and demand response services. The system is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2013.

MEA’s Game Changer Competitive Grant Program was created to provide cost-sharing grants for innovative clean energy generation technologies and market strategies in Maryland. The winning grantees embrace either a new technology or a new methodology that extends beyond existing renewable energy generation; the Game Changers seek to advance the market into uncharted territory. Winners were evaluated on the merits of their energy production, cost-effectiveness, market potential, project viability, cost share, project performance measurement and verification methodology, and project visibility. The projects are funded based on their ability to help the state meet its renewable energy portfolio standard of 20% by 2022, and the grant recipients’ progress toward that goal will be evaluated for two years following their award.

Earlier this month, Standard Solar made its second Commitment to Action as part of the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting. CGI is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation that convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. During CGI America, held this month in Chicago, Standard Solar pledged a two-pronged commitment to address the industry challenge of fully integrating photovoltaics (PV) with the grid. The Konterra system is Standard Solar’s first project under this commitment.