Distributed Energy Resources

Cleveland Public Power, other entities issue RFQ for microgrid

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power and the Cleveland Foundation jointly issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for developers interested in constructing a microgrid in downtown Cleveland.

An Oct. 18 news release related to the RFQ said the microgrid would be the first district-wide system in the country.

The goal of the microgrid will be to provide highly resilient power to businesses and commercial entities that need it. “Microgrids provide a reliable energy source, as they ensure power is not lost when the main grid is offline. Controller and communications architecture of microgrids also identify and manage power variability issues such as voltage sags and surges to ensure the delivery of qualitatively consistent electricity,” the news release said.

“The microgrid project would be a unique opportunity and fits in with Cleveland Public Power’s mission and vision of providing reliable energy and energy service,” said City of Cleveland Director of Public Utilities, Robert Davis. “This RFQ stage is critical, but it is important to attract the right partner to develop the project. We look forward to seeing the result of the RFQ process and determining our next steps.”

Cleveland Public Power is the City of Cleveland's municipally-owned electric company and is a Division of the Department of Public Utilities. The Department provides water, sewer, and electricity to the residents and businesses in the City of Cleveland.

The goal is to choose a developer by April 2020 and build out is expected to take a few years.

Additional information is available here.

Other public power utilities and microgrids

Microgrids are being pursued by other public power utilities.

Seattle City Light is preparing to build its first microgrid, a first step in an effort to understand how microgrids can function on the public power utility’s system.

The $3.3 million demonstration project includes a microgrid controller, rooftop solar panels totaling 48 kilowatts and a 200-kW/800-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery storage system.

Snohomish County PUD, another Washington State public power utility, is working on the Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Technology Center project. The project will include a 500-kilowatt solar array with smart inverters, a 1,000 kW/1,000 kWh lithium-ion battery storage system and several vehicle-to-grid charging stations for use with the PUD's electric fleet vehicles.

Meanwhile, Palo Alto Utilities in California, working with EDF Innovation Lab, has used a grant from the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments program to produce studies and develop tools for testing thermal microgrids.

The aim of the grant was to provide information and tools to support public power utilities in evaluating the feasibility of deploying thermal microgrids.