For over 160 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been a community resource for kids and adults, providing children’s programs, particularly useful for working parents that need a safe place to send their children after school. Nationwide, approximately 4 million kids have been welcomed by these facilities, proving to be a key pillar of support for our youth.
In addition to this everyday support, during times of need, such as during the pandemic and during utility outage events of recent years -spurred by fires, heatwaves, storms, and power safety power shutdown/PSPS events- have brought the importance of these types of facilities into even sharper focus. These facilities have the basic infrastructure (large gathering space, bathrooms, commercial kitchens, etc) required to host community members, families, and first responders during times of crisis.
When it comes specifically to utility outages, Boys & Girls Clubs of St Helena and Calistoga have been utilized as a crucial community resource approximately 15 times since 2020, including a 3-day outage where they served as a resource hub for families. These community members served during the PSPS or emergency events are low-income (as defined by CA Public Health & Safety Code) and are located partially in a high-fire threat district and were subject to over seven PSPS events.
The need to be able to provide emergency services to this community has become evident time after time, and drove the addition of a 80 kW/288 kWh energy storage system and 33 kW PV system to provide distributed energy resources for backup power. This system was installed by Vital Energy and then commissioned by Ageto in May of 2023 and utilizes KORE batteries, Oztek RS40 energy storage inverters, SMA CORE1 PV inverters and Ageto’s ARC microgrid control system. Also utilized, Ageto’s Protective Relay Cabinet (PRC) for the system islanding sequencing/control during outages, and the Ageto Load Control Center (LCC) was used to conserve battery capacity for the facility’s most important backed-up circuits/loads.
The main circuits backed up are commercial kitchen loads (refrigeration/lighting/ventilation) and HVAC loads. There are other smaller loads, such as other commercial appliances, lighting, and receptacles. During PSPS or outage events, the commercial kitchen, HVAC, and main interior loads are prioritized and will have backup power for over 30 hours. Loads related to recreational uses, such as the gymnasium and new EV chargers, are deprioritized.
In addition to providing backup to the facility, this system also saves the B&G club money by discharging a portion of the battery to take advantage of the time-of-use (TOU) program rates and reduce peak demand charges. Additionally, this program is receiving funds through the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), and Ageto is the Performance Data Provider (PDP) for this SGIP project.
SGIP incentivizes private and public entities to invest in on-site power generation and energy storage. Projects such as this one in Calistoga have installed “Advanced Energy Storage” (AES) systems. SGIP AES applications record energy storage system power and energy performance data at 15-minute intervals. The PDP (Ageto) is tasked with continuously collecting and storing the data for the duration of the five-year SGIP reporting lifecycle. The PDP validates the collected data for discrepancies and submits reports to the Program Administrator (PA) on a monthly basis.