Throughout 2022, SECC will recognize one member every month, providing an organizational profile and highlighting the member's accomplishments in the smart energy space.
At Liberty, sustainability is at the heart of what they do: it underpins the way they operate their business, whether through investments, acquisitions or day-to-day operations.
Advancing renewable technologies plays a major role in their plans as Liberty strives for a low-carbon future. While wind, solar and hydro are perhaps the best-known sources of clean, renewable energy – and today Algonquin has net interests in over 4,000 MW of renewable generation in operation – Liberty continues to invest in emerging technologies such as battery storage, microgrids, electric vehicles, renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen.
In a number of Liberty's service areas, they have launched battery storage programs that allow customers to have back-up battery power available in the case of an outage. The goal: redundancy, resiliency and, ultimately, greater insight and control over energy usage and costs. By putting this capability in customers’ hands, Liberty is raising energy awareness and improving behaviors to positively impact the environment.
In Wisconsin, they have signed an agreement to acquire an RNG development platform specializing in anaerobic digestion projects. RNG produces energy with an extremely low Net Carbon Intensity (CI) – a win-win for the environment, for customers who consume the RNG output and for the company’s net-zero goals.
The Sagehen Microgrid project at the UC Berkeley Sagehen Creek Field Station is located in Liberty's Lake Tahoe, California service region. This unique project is focused on building climate change resilience, particularly against wildfires, while enhancing system resiliency. The project has 48 solar panels and 53 kWh of battery storage with a backup propane generator. The system reduces wildfire risk to the region and provides power generation and balance to the system. The company is pleased to say the project has been awarded a Centre of Excellence Recognition of Industry Innovation award by the Canadian Electricity Association.
Completed in 2021, the 2.25 MW Prosperity community solar facility in Missouri provides electric customers with an opportunity to subscribe to clean, renewable energy. Built on 60 acres in Prosperity, Missouri on reclaimed mining land, the solar facility offers customers new opportunities to reduce their energy costs while making productive use of local land. Currently, the program is fully subscribed, indicating customers’ interest in leveraging clean solar power when it’s made available.
Liberty has transportation electrification programs in various states across our service territories. As one example, the company has partnered with Lake Tahoe Community College to develop a new Mobility Hub, an EV bus project. This unique project received the 2020 Tallac Achievement Award for its role in revitalizing and enhancing the economy and community of South Lake Tahoe. For this project’s second phase Liberty installed DC fast chargers and two dual-part Level-2 stations that were made available for public charging beginning in 2021.
In comparison to traditional battery storage, hydrogen fuel cells are lighter and easier to use, and can be adapted to existing systems, so its potential is immense. Recently, New York State’s Governor Hochul announced a multi-state agreement with an initial group of 40 hydrogen ecosystem partners to develop a proposal to become one of at least four regional clean energy hydrogen hubs. Liberty is one of those partners, and they’re excited about the opportunity to work with others to advance safe green hydrogen energy innovation.