A consortium of Japanese corporations are working with Forest City Enterprises (based in Cleveland) to create Mesa del Sol, a mixed-use redevelopment project with plans for 18 million square feet of office, industrial, retail space, and about 37,000 homes. The development will rely heavily on on-site solar, fuel cell, natural gas and backup battery storage systems, comprising a complex mix of energy resources that pose challenges to utility companies seeking to supply power to the grid.
Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) invested about $10 million to install a microgrid that will allow it to run tests on solar smoothing, peak shaving and other smart grid operations, in an effort to learn how microgrids can function in a real-world setting.
The Aperture Center – the first component of the development to come online – is 78,000-square-feet, and has been set up to run on its own solar power. The event center’s 440-kilowatt peak load will be covered by a 50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, an 80-kilowatt fuel cell, a 240-kilowatt natural gas powered generator and a 160-kilowatt-hour battery storage system.