In collaboration with Enel, power management company Eaton has cut the ribbon on a clean energy microgrid project at its Arecibo, Puerto Rico, manufacturing facility where the company makes circuit breakers used in homes, buildings, and industrial applications.

The project will generate more than half of the facility’s energy needs. The microgrid incorporates 5 MWac solar PV and approximately 1.1 MW of battery storage and existing onsite generators. The site will generate 10 GWh of energy annually, Eaton said.

Eaton highlighted the size of the clean energy microgrid system deployed with Enel, which the companies called a “first” in Puerto Rico. In addition to powering Eaton’s manufacturing facility, the microgrid will also support the regional power grid, the companies said. Eaton also implemented efficiency measures using its intelligent power management technologies to reduce its energy footprint.

“In our administration, we continue to focus on Puerto Rico’s energy transformation that promotes increased renewable energy generation,” said Governor Pedro Pierluisi. “I congratulate Eaton for continuing to invest in Puerto Rico and supporting this transformation with the building of a clean energy microgrid that will provide them with energy resiliency, while also reducing their carbon footprint. This is the type of project that we are working to see replicated throughout the island.”

Enel North America built, owns, and operates the system on behalf of Eaton. Enel North America financed the project under an energy-as-a-service model, shifting Eaton’s investment in the microgrid system from a capital to an operational expense. Eaton provided installation knowledge and technologies for the microgrid system, including its Power Xpert microgrid solutions and power distribution equipment. 

“As the impacts of climate change worsen, large energy users are stepping up to power their facilities sustainably,” said Matt Barnes, head of distributed energy solutions at Enel North America. “Enel is proud to partner with Eaton in building a future for manufacturing that reaches beyond facility walls to support energy resiliency for the broader community. The urgency to deploy microgrids—especially in regions with vulnerable electrical infrastructure—has never been greater, and Enel is delivering the clean and flexible systems that the energy transition requires.”

Originally published in Renewable Energy World.

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