The next thing in neighborhoods
A family sits around the dining r oom table kicking off their weekend with a family game night. Suddenly a crack of thunder rolls outside the home, and the lights go out. While the kids panic, the parents stay calm and before you can say Yahtzee the power is back on. Power outages have just about become a thing of the past for the residents of the Eagle Chase neighborhood. This is the dream Wake Electric and Winslow Homes are building and testing in one Youngsville neighborhood. If this pilot program runs smoothly it could be a model for more neighborhoods built in the future.
The project got underway when Winslow Homes discussed installing whole home generators at each of the 31 homes they were planning to build.
After some research, Wake Electric recommended developing a microgrid and installing two 150-kilowatt generators, and in partnership with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), adding a 1-megawatt-hour/500 kW Tesla PowerPack battery system. Residents of the neighborhood will pay a resiliency fee for Wake Electric to maintain the system and would enjoy the benefits of increased reliability.
The two generators are enough to power the entire neighborhood for up to 36 hours when thunderstorms, ice, accidents or even proactive maintenance might have otherwise meant a power outage. The system also saves the expense and noise of installing and operating 31 separate generators.
When the weather is good and the microgrid is not needed for power during an outage it can provide power back to the main grid which increases reliability and helps save money for all Wake Electric members. Homes are still under construction with plans to be completed by the end of the year.
Eagle Chase is a residential microgrid being developed in Youngsville in partnership with builder Winslow Homes, local electric cooperative Wake Electric and the statewide North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation with the goal of providing enhanced electric service reliability and resiliency as well as reducing peak electricity costs. For more information on Winslow Homes, visit their website at winslowhomes.com.