Weekly Microgrid News from HOMER Energy — May 2, 2017
Newly created teams within the U.S. Air Force and other military branches are pursuing contracts for on-site distributed generation and smart microgrids, so military installations can control their own energy destiny in the event a cyber attack or a large-scale event takes down the nation’s electric grid. In addition, this past week saw a new milestone in DOD’s ongoing march toward its reliance upon clean energy, as a first-of-its-kind hybrid complex of wind and solar began commercial operations at U.S. Garrison Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. More military microgrid news here.
It’s been two years since MGN first reported on the Blue Lake Rancheria Native American reservation’s ambitious microgrid projects, then in its early planning stages. Last week, the microgrid went live, helping power government offices, economic enterprises, and critical Red Cross safety shelter-in-place facilities across 100 acres in California’s Humboldt County. This project — incorporating the largest solar array in currently in operation in the county — allows the reservation to operate independently of the power grid in coordination with local utility PG&E.
For the Bay Area, whose economy hinges on the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple, a single power outage could cost $1 million per company per outage. The massive April blackout is a wake-up call to bring these microgrids online sooner rather than later. What would happen if an earthquake the magnitude of the one that hit San Francisco in 1906 struck again? After a mapping exercise, the city identified 12 projects relying on solar and battery systems. So far, funding for initial groundwork has come from a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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