Stillwater, Okla. is home to what is likely the first business park in the state equipped to use a variety of renewable, energy storage and smart grid technologies. The unique combination of technologies makes up the Smart Energy Source (SES) Progressive Resource Energy Park (PREP) on the campus of a new business park called Innovation Pointe.
The first tenant of the park, Central Electric Cooperative, a 21,000 meter distribution cooperative, held a ribbon cutting on August 4, 2016, to celebrate the commissioning of the PREP.
Included in the PREP is a 500 kW solar array, a 250 kW / 475 kWh Tesla battery storage system and a geothermal heat pump loop. Smart grid technologies allow for the seamless integration between renewable and traditional grid power. The energy park is designed to serve the current needs of Central and can be expanded to meet the future needs of the Innovation Pointe campus.
The PREP represents the next generation energy park built on sustainable principles and encompasses Central’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. The PREP also was designed to be used with the NESI-SES Association as a field laboratory to equip employees with experience to confront future utility needs. The NESI-SES Association is a collaboration among Central Electric Cooperative, Oklahoma State University, CoBank and the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperative as a vehicle for taking energy research into the market for real-world application
“We are excited to be implementing these cutting-edge technologies,” said David Swank, CEO of Central and managing member of Smart Energy Source. “Being the first in the state to integrate the solar array, battery storage and interconnection equipment into a business park solution such as this has been a great opportunity for us to gain experience and grow for the future,” Swank said. SES utilized ecosystem partners like SoCore Energy, who was instrumental in the Tesla battery system design and installation.
The use of efficient technology allows Central to be good stewards of the environment and of members’ resources – a theme the cooperative hopes to instill in other tenants of Innovation Pointe. Central’s new headquarters building was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards to ensure members that Central is making investments that enable new opportunities for both savings and increased revenue. The solar array and geothermal loop were made possible by grants through USDA Rural Development. Central was awarded a $300,000 grant to offset the cost of the solar array and a $500,000 grant to offset the cost of the geothermal loop.