Indianapolis Charter School Contracts Ameresco for Solar-Storage Microgrid

March 19, 2024
A $5.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renew America’s Schools funding program will finance construction of energy improvements to The Match High School and Career Center site. These include installation of a combined 165-kW solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage system.

Energy services firm Ameresco will develop a new microgrid-ready solar and battery storage system centered around a new educational concept for lifting underperforming schools.

Matchbook Learning Schools of Indiana selected Ameresco to oversee all aspects of design, engineering, construction and on-site energy for The Match High School and Career Center in Indianapolis.

Ameresco will develop The Match project within the footprint of two industrial warehouses spanning 54,000 square feet, according to reports.

A $5.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renew America’s Schools funding program will finance construction of energy improvements to The Match High School and Career Center site. These include installation of a combined 165-kW solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage system.

The solar and storage will combine to provide backup power for school operations. A behind-the-meter system will be connected directly to the school and can operate in “island mode” as a microgrid if utility power is lost, according to a source.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for the project on Wednesday.

“We are inspired by Matchbook’s mission and look forward to leading sustainability and energy efficiency upgrades for their newest school,” Lou Maltezos, executive vice president for Ameresco, said in a statement. “We are honored to help make The Match High School and Career Center fully equipped to support student learning for years to come.”

Matchbook Learning hopes to open The Match school site for its first students by August 1 at one of the Indianapolis buildings. The second facility is targeted for a January 2025 opening.

The charter school organization partners with existing schools as a united means of helping to turn underperforming schools around, the non-profit’s website reads.

“Matchbook Learning was founded to revitalize the nation’s underperforming schools and inspire every student to reach their full potential,” Matchbook Learning Schools of Indiana founder Sajan George said. “Key to this undertaking is ensuring that students are served in sustainable facilities that provide students with a safe and inspiring environment for learning and collaboration.”

In addition to the solar and battery storage system, The Match High School in Indianapolis will eventually house several state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies, including ultra-high rooftop HVAC units, next-gen building automation controls and a variable refrigerant flow heat recovery and ventilation system.

Massachusetts-based Ameresco has developed a series of microgrid and/or energy efficiency upgrades at numerous public facilities, such as universities and military bases.

Ameresco is a gold sponsor at this year’s Microgrid Knowledge Conference, happening April 22-24 at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore. The event will include sessions on university microgrids and other energy infrastructure projects centered around EV charging and power resiliency. 

Registration information and details of the upcoming conference program are here.

 

 

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