Alliant Energy installs microgrid in Village of Boaz to address outages
VILLAGE OF BOAZ, Wis. (WMTV) - The Village of Boaz is off the grid, literally. After experiencing multiple power outages, Alliant Energy decided to step in with a possible solution.
The utility company installed a battery-powered microgrid in the village, the first one in the State of Wisconsin. The grid is located off Highway 14 and has the capacity to keep energy flowing for up to 11 to 20 hours depending on the load in the village, lead engineer Michael Graves said.
“When we picked Boaz because it’s about 15 miles away from the source, the substation and there’s protective equipment in between that if something happens, well 15 miles is a long way, storms happen, trees fall, car accidents and everything between here and the sub they were seeing an outage for,” Graves said.
He said the grid will supply power regardless of weather conditions and whether the large electric grid is working or not.
“The microgrid is a way to supply power when you’re not connected to the overall grid. So, if something happens to the line upstream this’ll sense it, it’ll open that up and feeding the island, the area with the energy that was stored in the battery,” he said.
Village president Jean Nicks said while residents were apprehensive at first, a power outage in the their village is a safety concern.
“A lot of our population here in the village of Boaz is, we’re 129 people, and I would say probably 80% of us are elderly people,” Nicks said. “So, we, you know, a lot of younger people can put up with the cold but with that being cold and trying to get him some place to stay warm now that shouldn’t happen.”
The company has completed installing the power source and is in the final testing stage. They anticipate it will be fully up and running in the next month or so, Graves said.
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