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Lakeland City Commission Approves Agreement Tied to Lakeland Electric Microgrid Project

The City Commission of Lakeland, Fla., on Nov. 6 approved an agreement related to plans by Florida public power utility Lakeland Electric to pursue a pilot microgrid project.

In June, Cindy Clemmons, Manager of Legislative and Regulatory Relations at Lakeland Electric, made a presentation related to the pilot project under which the utility is partnering with Block Energy. Joining Clemmons at the meeting held by the Lakeland, Fla., Utility Committee were several officials from Block Energy and Michael Beckham, Lakeland Electric's General Manager.

The Lakeland City Commission specifically approved by a vote of 7-0 an Equipment Supply and Support Services Agreement with Block Energy for the installation of a residential microgrid pilot project.

The Project between Block Energy and the city will also include a partnership with Clayton Properties Group, Inc., the parent company of Highland Homes, which will serve as the developer, as well as the builder of a new community, in Lakeland Electric’s service territory where the project will be installed.

Specifically, the Highland Homes development, known as “Myrtlebrook,” will be comprised of 77 new construction homes.

In accordance with the project, Block Energy’s “Block Box” system will include rooftop solar panels integrated with battery storage and supplemental grid-forming generation to support the 77 residential homes in Myrtlebrook.

Homes grouped in pairs will share a Block Box battery-inverter which will be connected to a Block Central that includes a system controller, larger scale batteries, backup natural gas generation and a grid tie.

The Myrtlebrook development is expected to break ground in 2024, with housing construction set to begin in 2025 and completed sometime in late 2025 or early 2026.

Pursuant to the agreement, Block Energy will provide all materials and installation of the microgrid components during the term of the agreement.

In addition, Block Energy will also operate and maintain the system, as well as provide training for Lakeland Electric personnel during the contract term.

The training of Lakeland Electric personnel will enable Lakeland Electric to maintain and operate the system following the expiration of the contract term should it elect to do so in accordance with the agreement.

During the course of the project, Lakeland Electric will assess system performance and reliability to determine if this type of microgrid system is a sustainable business model for future development.

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