Innovative Olympic Valley Microgrid Project Proposed
Project includes Battery Storage System at Squaw Valley Designed to Provide Energy Reliability to Olympic Valley Residential and Commercial Customers
[Olympic Valley, Calif.] Feb. 5, 2018 – A new energy storage system to serve Liberty Utilities’ Olympic Valley residential and commercial customers in the event of an electric outage is proposed for the North Tahoe region. The Olympic Valley Microgrid Project would leverage state-of-the-art battery storage technology to create a new way to store surplus energy and deliver that stored energy to the utility’s grid. Liberty Utilities has had initial discussions with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows to explore a potential site on their property, as well as with Tesla, a manufacturer of the type of energy storage system needed to provide more electric reliability in Olympic Valley, California.
After initial research for the optimal location, the project proposal includes installation of a battery energy storage system of up to eight megawatts near Gold Coast, an existing on-mountain facility at Squaw Valley, in an area currently used for materials storage. At this time, it is envisioned that the system would be owned, operated and maintained by Liberty Utilities, while Squaw Valley Ski Holdings would provide the land to house the battery storage system. The project is subject to review and approval by the California Public Utilities Commission and Placer County prior to commencement of construction.
“Battery energy storage can facilitate use of renewable energy sources,” said Greg Sorensen, president of Liberty Utilities’ West Region. “Battery storage can also improve service reliability and help offset purchases from fossil fuel sources during times of high electricity demand, saving money for our customers. The Olympic Valley Microgrid project proposal is just one piece in a larger mosaic of renewable energy and battery energy storage projects that Liberty Utilities is exploring throughout our service territory.”
The use of battery technology would be an upgrade to Liberty Utilities’ infrastructure and would provide an additional source of power that could be distributed through the grid when needed. When overall demand is low, surplus grid energy will charge the batteries via existing Liberty Utilities power lines. When demand is high or the upstream energy source is interrupted, the batteries will discharge to provide power to the grid, offsetting purchases from other sources and thereby reducing costs.
The project will provide additional flexibility to integrate more renewables into the power grid in the future, and help Liberty Utilities work toward exceeding the California state mandate of 50 percent renewable energy supply by 2030. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows recently announced its intention to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy sources as early as 2018. Liberty Utilities is supporting the 100 percent renewable goals of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and other customers throughout its service territory through the development of new renewable energy projects, particularly solar.
“It is inspiring to work with a motivated and innovative utility provider like Liberty Utilities on a project that will bring tangible, long-lasting benefits to the power grid that supplies our entire community,” said Andy Wirth, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “This project has the ability to significantly increase the resiliency of Olympic Valley’s current power sources, and help set the entire Tahoe Truckee region on a path toward a greater goal of identifying and implementing 100 percent renewable energy sources.”
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ sustainability programs are not new – they date back to the resort’s founding; however, they have been expanded over the past seven years as more solutions-based resort initiatives have inspired innovation and a desire to change behaviors. Some of these efforts include banning single-use plastic water bottle sales, introducing ride share and carpool incentive programs, and more.
For more information about the resort’s sustainability programs, visit squawalpine.com/community.
About Liberty Utilities
Liberty Utilities Co. owns and operates regulated water, wastewater, natural gas and electric transmission and distribution utilities in 12 states, delivering responsive and reliable essential services to over 750,000 customers across the United States. With a local approach to management, service and support, we deliver efficient, dependable services to meet the needs of our customers. Liberty Utilities provides a superior customer experience through walk-in customer centers, locally focused conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, and programs for businesses and residential customers. We measure our performance in terms of service reliability, an enjoyable customer experience, and an unwavering dedication to public and workplace safety. Liberty Utilities currently operates in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information, please visit www.LibertyUtilities.com.
About Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Voted ‘Best Ski Resort’ in North America for the third year in a row by USA Today and 10Best Readers’ Choice, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an internationally renowned mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe, California. Spanning over 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains, skiers and riders of all ability levels are welcomed by over 65 percent beginner and intermediate terrain, 14 easy-to-navigate mountain zones and a custom app to make the most of every visit. The resort features slopeside lodging at The Village at Squaw Valley®, which bustles year round with nonstop events and over 50 bars, restaurants and boutiques. With an annual average of 450 inches of snowfall and 300 sunny California days, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is known as the Spring Skiing Capital™ as it provides one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in Lake Tahoe. Visit squawalpine.com or call 1.800.403.0206 to learn more.