Shungnak, AK, an Iñupiat village of about 300 individuals, is only accessible by air or by barge in the summer. Whether it be food to stock the community store, supplies for the small school or diesel to fuel the generator power plant, most everything needed to sustain the village must be shipped in. This cost of transportation adds to the cost of living, especially when it comes to the electric bill. In 2019, a villager could expect to pay almost $8.50 for a single gallon of gas.
The solution found in Shungnak, and for many remote communities across the state, is a hybrid microgrid. The solar and energy storage system offset the fuel consumption of the diesel generators, reducing sound and carbon pollution and lowering the overall cost of energy for the community. The microgrid is anticipated to save the community 25,000 gallons of diesel in the first year of operation.
Ageto was brought into the project to deliver the site level controller by Launch Alaska, a non-profit working to accelerate Alaska’s clean energy economy by partnering with innovative start-ups delivering solutions that can help unlock the wealth of resources in the state. Launch Alaska assists companies in navigating the complex and unique Alaskan market in order to aid companies in delivering successful projects supported by the communities they are intended to uplift.
The Ageto ARC Controller autonomously coordinates the energy assets on-site to deliver power to Shungnak as well as the neighboring smaller village of Kobuk, tied together by a tie line. The ARC controller integrates the solar and storage to offset the diesel generators, even running renewable only when conditions allow. Using advanced control methods, ARC runs the generators and energy storage both in grid-forming mode for additional spinning reserves. This means if a generator trips offline without warning due to a fault, the batteries seamlessly take over the load, keeping the lights on for the villagers without even a flicker. The Ageto ARC Controller is coordinating this diverse mix of energy resources to bring affordable and reliable power to the community.