Alltown Fresh Installs 'Resilient Service Station' at Massachusetts Store

A microgrid allows the store to be prepared in case of a power outage.
Enel X

AYER, Mass. — The Alltown Fresh convenience store in Ayer will be prepared in the event of a power outage thanks to a new microgrid installed at the location.

Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of Enel Group, installed the microgrid, which can now offer on-site generated power to Alltown Fresh Ayer via solar panels integrated on the canopy, a battery storage unit and a portable generator connection — all designed, built, operated and financed by Boston-based Enel X North America.

To support electric vehicle (EV) drivers, Enel X also installed a universally compatible JuicePump 50kW, which can charge vehicles up to 80 percent battery capacity in 30 to 60 minutes, the company stated.

"The increasing frequency and impact of extreme weather events underscore the need for far more sustainable and resilient power, especially for critical infrastructure," said Surya Panditi, head of Enel X North America. "However, solar energy paired with battery storage is not only valuable during emergencies. The Alltown Fresh microgrid is attractive to EV drivers who want to power their vehicles with renewable energy, and it's valuable to businesses to support the local grid by decreasing overall demand and reducing emissions while reducing costs."

Every day, Alltown Fresh fuels the human journey, whether it is with a fresh cup of coffee, scratch-made salad, fuel or a quick charge, and its commitment to that is only heightened during emergencies, according to Mark Cosenza, senior vice president of Global Partners LP, the parent company of Alltown Fresh.

Alltown Fresh Ayer offers fresh bean-to-cup coffee, Wi-Fi, and workspaces to connect laptops. Additionally, fresh food from a locally sourced, scratch kitchen provides guests with an array of made-to-order offerings and fresh food choices.

"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," Cosenza stated. 

"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," he added. 

The Alltown Fresh Ayer microgrid incorporates Enel X's portfolio of distributed energy and electric mobility solutions, including an 87 kW/174 kWh battery, an 87 kWp PV rooftop solar array, and a 50 kW DC fast charging station, supported by Enel X's Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Optimization software and JuiceNet software and JuicePass for EV drivers.

By integrating the system behind the same meter, on-site solar power will help charge EVs. During a grid outage, the facility's critical loads can continue to be powered.

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

Enel X's innovative microgrid solution is modular and scalable. The company offers a flexible financing solution that bundles all microgrid assets to support businesses in their resiliency efforts. The customer pays a flat rate for the solar power generated, receives a share of the energy storage asset's financial benefits, and keeps the EV charging revenues.

Waltham, Mass.-based Alltown Fresh operates eight locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. It is part of the Global Partners family of brands, one of the Northeast's largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of 1,500-plus gasoline stations and convenience stores in the United States and Canada.

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