Months in the making, one of the Tennessee Valley’s first power supply flexibility project under TVA’s Long-Term Partnership Agreement launched earlier this month on a site adjacent to the Saturn V rocket on Huntsville, Ala.-based U. S. Space & Rocket Center’s campus. The project, dubbed Project Liftoff by partners Huntsville Utilities, the space center and Seven States Power, will integrate solar, battery storage, EV chargers and an educational exhibit for visitors.
“This project integrates three technologies that will be used by the non-profit space center to offset their energy usage and conveniently serve the growing number of EV-driving visitors while also demonstrating, via an educational kiosk, how sustainable renewable energy is beneficial both on earth and in space,” said Seven States Power’s Steve Noe, director of strategic energy solutions. “As the energy marketplace continues to change and the demand for renewables grows, the educational exhibit will serve to create greater understanding of the technologies and their benefit to the people of the Tennessee Valley.”
Project Liftoff consists of a solar canopy by LightWave Solar that spans six parking spaces and is expected to generate 41,000 kWh/year of solar energy, a battery station rated at 11.4 kWh to store the solar generation, and two Level 2 electric vehicle chargers by ChargePoint, each with dual ports for charging. The installation will be located in the main guest parking area adjacent to the Saturn V rocket and the space center’s new entrance.
“Huntsville Utilities is excited to be amongst the first to launch a power flexibility project with Seven States that will enhance the U.S. Space & Rocket Center – a global tourist attraction located within our service area. Powering the home of Space Camp is truly a unique honor and executing Project Liftoff which adds a solar canopy, battery and EV chargers coupled with an educational component will complement the rich experience already available at the Rocket Center,” said Wes Kelly, president and CEO of Huntsville Utilities. “Partnering with TVA to provide flexibility options to consumers is critical to the success of the project as Huntsville Utilities continues to strengthen partnerships and relationships throughout the Tennessee Valley.”
In July, Huntsville Utilities began preparing the Project Liftoff site for connection to its distribution grid, and construction of the assets is scheduled for completion in mid-to-late September. The flagship project will be a showcase at the Seven States Power annual meeting held Oct. 1 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.