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Micro-Grid In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-11-20 20:08:14
Micro-Grid In Great Smoky Mountains National ParkDuke Energy has proposed to install a micro-grid powered by renewable energy, serving the telecommunications towers of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Located in Mt. Sterling in Haywood County, the proposed project will combine a 10 kW solar powered portable generator installation with a fluid 95 kWh of zinc-air battery in the field, ultimately providing all the energy needs of the tower. The tower is currently serviced by a single overhead line.

Because towers provide emergency communication to the park, the ability to operate independently of the energy network is important for park communications.

More information on the proposed project was recently submitted to the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission (NCUC).

If the project is completed as recommended, Duke Energy will disconnect the facility from the energy network and no longer need to maintain existing overhead lines. About 13 acres of park land currently maintained as a utility corridor can be allowed to return to the natural state.

Duke Energy has carried out a number of innovative microgrid research projects, but this will be the company's first in the field of research. Microgrids are a collection of power sources that operate separately from the grid - providing customers with greater safety and reliability.

As a participant in the climate-friendly park program, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is part of a national park network that places climate-friendly behavior at the forefront of sustainable development planning.

The project is subject to NCUC and NPS approval. If approved, construction can begin in early 2017 and the goal is to begin operations by mid-year.
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