Photos by Greg Maguire, Adara Power. Reprinted with permission.

“This Demonstration Partnership project is an 18-month pilot program created by San José to take innovations and smart product ideas and plug them into networks and places where cutting-edge technologies are tested and developed for market,” said Teri Killgore, Civic Innovation Manager for the City of San José. “Adara Power is the first of five projects that will roll out under the City’s innovation initiative and aligns with Mayor Sam Liccardo’s SmartCity focus.”

Gardner Community Center

San Jose, California

The City of San Jose, California has a long-standing initiative to drive the development of clean technology to create jobs and stimulate a green economy. Important players in the initiative, like Prospect Silicon Valley, which is a nonprofit that serves to catalyze technology commercialization, and Adara Power, a developer of energy storage systems, were partners in the City of San Jose’s decision to add battery storage to an existing solar array on the Gardner Community Center.

Lying on the San Andreas fault, the San Jose community is keenly aware of the need to invest in emergency preparedness, and so was willing to put money towards an energy storage project that would provide backup power for the community during a power outage. The Gardner Community Center was an ideal location because it is an important gathering place for senior citizens and other members of the community. During a natural disaster or power outage, the facility will be a place to access information, power outlets, and clean water.

In addition to supplying power to the facility when the electricity grid is down, the solar+storage system benefits the community center year-round. The project integrates more renewable generation into the energy mix and reduces the facility’s utility bill through peak shifting, in which solar energy that is generated on-site during sunny hours can be stored for use after the sun goes down to offset higher electricity prices. By storing excess solar energy produced during the sunniest part of the day, the battery allows the facility reduce the amount of high-cost electricity it purchases from the grid, saving the city money.

The 8.6kWh lithium ion battery system was added by Adara Power in the summer of 2015 to an existing 3kW rooftop solar array at the Gardner Community Center.

Installation Details

Year Commissioned: 2015

Services Provided: Backup power, Load shifting, Renewables integration

Supported Infrastructure: Emergency shelter in a community center

Solar: 3kW

Storage: 8.6kWh lithium ion battery (Adara Power)

Project Partners: City of San Jose, Adara Power, and Prospect Silicon Valley