Roadrunner Food Bank Installation Featuring Sharp SmartStorage Named Solar Builder Magazine’s 2017 Project of the Year

09 Nov 2017

Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group (Sharp ESSG) announces today its installation at the Roadrunner® Food Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico, featuring a solar PV plus a SmartStorage® energy storage system, has been named 2017 Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine readers. The project features two Sharp 30 kW/40 kWh SmartStorage® systems that are paired with a 366 kW solar rooftop array that was installed by Affordable Solar.

“From the beginning, Roadrunner Food Bank has been a special project because of how the energy and demand charge savings directly translate into more food for the state’s hungry. We thank Affordable Solar for incorporating SmartStorage® technology into the solar plus storage system at the food bank and we’re thrilled that it won 2017 Project of the Year,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager and Founder of Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group. 

“Between the expanded solar array and the storage, we’re reducing our demand usage by 150kW every month. It’s saving us a bunch of money, and every dollar we save equals five meals,” says Teresa Johansen, COO of Roadrunner Food Bank. “That efficiency allows us to actually feed more of New Mexico.”

Prior to installation of the award-winning solar PV plus SmartStorage® system, the food bank paid on average $180,000 a year in utility bills, with an estimated 30 percent going toward demand charges. The solar plus storage system was expected to save the food bank approximately $30,000/year in utility charges with the annual savings equating to approximately 150,000 meals in food distributed every year. After nearly a year in operation, the system has exceeded expectations with over 34 percent in demand charge savings delivered.

“Solar on its own does little to nothing to consistently and reliably mitigate demand charges for a customer and to do it reliably and predictably, you need intelligent energy storage like Sharp’s SmartStorage® system to couple with it, and then you have the foundation of what you need for a viable project,” said Kevin Bassalleck, President of Affordable Solar.

Sharp’s intelligent energy storage solution pairs with solar PV systems to work synergistically, reducing utility costs by pulling power from the SmartStorage® batteries rather than from the utility at the times of highest demand. This is an operation that is particularly well-suited for non-profits where utility bills are often one of the highest expenses, but also can yield significant savings at commercial and industrial facilities. This is particularly true in parts of the country where demand charges (kW) can account for up to 50 percent of a commercial customer’s utility bill. The SmartStorage® systems are available in both 30 kW/40 kWh and 30 kW/80 kWh configurations (with an optional 125 kW inverter) and can be stacked to accommodate larger commercial and industrial projects that require higher storage capacity.

Sharp Electronics |