Black & Veatch’s microgrid, a system of distributed generation technologies aimed at boosting resilience and the use of renewable energy sources, has been selected for a prestigious Gold Edison Award. The company’s microgrid system generates electricity through a combination of natural gas, solar energy, geothermal and battery storage at the company’s World Headquarters in Overland Park.
The microgrid provides enough clean energy to run the headquarters’ 12,000 square-foot Rodman Innovation Pavilion. It can operate as an independent power source or in support of the traditional electric grid, adding resilience while lowering energy costs. The Edison Awards, which recognize excellence and creativity globally in new products and services, honored Black & Veatch in the Energy & Sustainability category at its April 21 gala in New York.
“The Black & Veatch microgrid system integrates key renewable resources such as solar, geothermal and battery technology that deliver a sustainable and cost-effective supply of energy,” said Ed Walsh, President of Black & Veatch’s Power Business. “It also provides a tangible training and education asset to better show the role of microgrids and how they can benefit clients around the world. This recognition from Edison further points to the importance of innovation and validates the continued need for greater energy efficiency.”
The system also includes two natural gas-fired microturbines that deliver onsite electrical power generation. During winter months, heat is recovered from the microturbines to support climate control for the World Headquarters, the largest office building in Kansas. A geothermal heat pump system with 15 wells each drilled 500 feet deep also helps heat and cool the Pavilion. The microgrid system also uses battery technology to capture and store energy from generation resources and deliver electricity to the headquarters during times of high electric demand.
Visitors to the headquarters can view the microgrid’s output in real time on a large-screen monitor that graphically displays how each part of the microgrid is performing.
“Microgrids are currently being evaluated as part of green building and sustainability efforts across a wide range of industrial and commercial projects, as well as in areas such as wastewater treatment plants and facilities generating power from renewable energy sources,” said Jason Abiecunas, Distributed Generation Service Area Leader for Black & Veatch. “Our microgrid is a living laboratory that gives us the capability to further advance new technologies in the distributed generation arena.”