Illinois EPA’s Office of Energy awards $900,000 grant to SIUC - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois EPA’s Office of Energy awards $900,000 grant to SIUC

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- SIU Carbondale is getting a $900,000 grant for a unique solar photovoltaic plus energy storage and communication resiliency project.

The SIU Solar + Storage project will feature more than 150kW of solar generation and 310kWh of storage capacity in a highly-visible section of campus at the SIU College of Engineering.

The proposed project claims it will: reduce SIU’s demand on the grid; serve as an educational tool for the College of Engineering; and add resilience to the electricity and communications infrastructure of SIU as well as Carbondale.

The SIU Solar + Storage project is the first investment of its kind by Illinois EPA’s Office of Energy and designed to be replicated and applied to other contexts and potential future investments across Illinois in and out of the higher education setting.

There are two other important components of the project:

First, solar powered long-term evolution (LTE) communication modules will sustain cellular communication for the SIU police department, the Carbondale Police Department, and the Carbondale Fire Department in the event of power disruption.

Second, the project intends to demonstrate that photovoltaic (PV) systems with energy storage provide a viable alternative when selecting backup power sources for small-scale applications. This will be achieved by closely monitoring the operation of the battery storage backup in response to utility power disruption.

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