Microgrid at California College to Serve as Model

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in Livermore, California has been awarded a $1.5-million grant from the California Energy Commission for a microgrid automation project. The microgrid will feature vanadium redox batteries by Imergy Power Systems and operating and management systems by Growing Energy Labs Inc. Las Positas College already utilizes a 2.35-MW solar array that provides 55% of the campus’s electricity. Once completed, the microgrid project is expected to save the college district $75,000 per year.

The Chabot-Las Positas project is part of the larger $26.5-million Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which “funds clean energy research, demonstration and deployment projects that support California’s energy policy goals and promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety.” This particular project will help demonstrate how colleges and universities can benefit from microgrid technology.

“Microgrids will become one of the primary ways consumers and businesses around the world get their electricity in the future. Solar, software and storage are making distributed energy possible in the same way that semiconductors, software applications and digital storage paved the way for distributed computing. With the right storage technology and software the management of microgrids is seamless, safe, and very easy for the customer to manage. Projects like this are setting a template for our industry,” commented Bill Watkins, CEO of Imergy Power Systems.