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Solar, storage and active energy management will be key to innovative eco district project

March 18, 2020 / JEAN HAGGERTY

Avista Utilities and the construction engineering company McKinstry are testing a series of solar-plus-storage solutions, active energy management techniques and smart building technologies at a Spokane, Washington-based eco-district that the partners say will be home to the smartest five blocks in the world. The South Landing Eco District will play an important role in helping Avista achieve its clean electricity goals by 2045, but the ultimate goal is larger. “This is about supporting an efficient optimization of the grid,” Nick Edney, senior electrical engineer at McKinstry said. “In the renewable energy space, it’s never a one-size-fits all… We are looking at the energy system comprehensively and thinking holistically,” said Jeff Hughes, McKinstry’s director of renewable energy. The partners also plan to leverage the research and development team work so that they can learn about the system, he added.