Through a partnership with the City of Boulder, Independent Power (IPS), and Pos-En, the Via Mobility Services facility was upgraded to a city resiliency hub for Boulder, Colorado, and equipped to support Via’s second responder emergency operations during a disaster. These upgrades include a 10.7 kilowatt (kW) commercial solar power system on the roof installed by IPS, a lithium-titanium oxide battery storage system, a natural gas generator that can charge up to four electric buses, and a smart control system. During an outage, the solar+storage system will provide power to critical IT loads at Via, primarily computer and phone systems. There is also an existing rooftop solar array that had been installed on the Via facility installed prior to the resilience upgrades.
The energy storage system was paid for by Via though additional funding was provided by a Clean Energy Group Resilient Power Technical Assistance Grant and a U.S. Department of Energy REDI grant. The City of Boulder was also awarded a Resilient Power Technical Assistance Fund grant from Clean Energy Group to conduct technical and financial feasibility analyses on several city properties. Via estimates power outages cost them an average of $8,000 to $11,500 per year, which became a key component in evaluating the full value of the resilient energy system. In addition to the avoided costs of having an outage and the roughly $582 per year in electricity savings for the solar array generated through net-metering, there is a potential future revenue source from the cost savings from demand charge reduction, though these programs do not yet exist in Colorado.