Sharp equips Albuquerque food bank with solar power, energy storage

albuquerque new mexico elp

The U.S. unit of Japanese Sharp Corp. announced Monday that it has entered the New Mexico energy storage market with a project that combines commercial solar arrays with battery systems at an Albuquerque non-profit food bank.

The Sharp Electronics Corp.’s Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG) has partnered with Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar Installation, the companies reported. The project installed at Roadrunner Food Bank includes two Sharp 30-kW SmartStorage systems paired with the site’s existing 366-kW solar rooftop array.

Roadrunner Food Bank currently pays on average $180,000 per year in utility bills, with an estimated 30 percent going toward demand charges, according to the release. The solar plus storage combination is expected to save about $30,000 a year in charges, equivalent to about 150,000 meals distributed annually.

“The additional power savings provided from the array combined with the new Sharp SmartStorage system will have long-term ramifications for hungry New Mexicans across the state, with every dollar saved equating to five meals,” Teresa Johansen, Chief Operating Officer of Roadrunner Food Bank. “Renewable energy systems like Sharp’s SmartStorage can have a tremendous impact on non-profits by decreasing utility costs and maximizing the positive impact charitable dollars have on the community.”

Sharp ESSG founder and General Manager Carl Mansfield said new markets like New Mexico are increasingly viable for energy storage applications that can reduce peak demand. He also touted ASI as their new partner on the project.

“Affordable Solar has a strong track record in New Mexico,” Mansfield said. “Their solar PV products along with our SmartStorage system is a powerful solution for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting day-to-day operations.”

Sharp’s ESSG was formed in 2014. Affordable Solar has completed more than 1,000 installations in New Mexico, according to the company’s website.

The Roadrunner Food Bank has been feeding the poor in Albuquerque and New Mexico since 1980. Its statewide network helps about 75,000 people each week, according to its website.

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