Innovative microgrid adds solar power, resiliency to Alltown Fresh in Massachusetts

An Alltown Fresh convenience store in Ayers, Mass., can now charge electric vehicles and stay powered during outages thanks to a cutting-edge, solar-powered microgrid that’s been installed at the site.

Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of energy company Enel, worked with Global Partners – the owner of Alltown Fresh – to construct the microgrid at the Alltown Fresh store in Ayer. It includes solar panels on the canopy above the gas pumps, a battery storage unit and a portable generator connection. In the event of a power outage, the microgrid will allow the store to keep operating as normal.

The microgrid installation also includes an electric vehicle charger that can charge vehicles to about 80% capacity in 30 to 60 minutes.

“As we explore the future of energy stations and convenience, we’re focused on three things: customer experience, resilience and embracing EV charging and other renewable fuels,” said Mark Cosenza, Senior Vice President, Global Partners LP. “Every day, we fuel the human journey, whether it is with a fresh cup of coffee, scratch made salad, fuel or a quick charge, and our commitment to that is only heightened during emergencies. We’re adding critical resiliency to our operations through this microgrid, supporting our customers already enjoying a healthier, more sustainable convenience station experience with EV charging powered by renewables. It’s truly a win-win-win.”

The microgrid, which the Boston Business Journal wrote about, is the first project to be completed under the InnovateMass Resilient Service Stations Challenge, which seeks to ensure continuous power for service stations near evacuation routes across the state.