Community Microgrid Initiative

Designing and staging Community Microgrids for resilience

Providing communities an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits

The Clean Coalition’s Community Microgrids are designed to provide indefinite, renewables-driven backup power to critical facilities. Our Community Microgrid Initiative will provide a standard methodology that any community can use to optimize and streamline the deployment of local renewable energy.

What is a Community Microgrid?

A Community Microgrid is a coordinated local grid area served by one or more distribution substations and supported by high penetrations of local renewables and other distributed energy resources (DER), such as energy storage and demand response. Community Microgrids represent a new approach for designing and operating the electric grid, relying heavily on DER to achieve a more sustainable, secure, and cost-effective energy system while providing indefinite, renewables-driven backup power for prioritized loads

Learn more

Our Community Microgrid Initiative projects

Goleta Load Pocket

Spanning 70 miles of California coastline — encompassing the cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara (including Montecito), and Carpinteria — this is a highly transmission-vulnerable, disaster-prone region that can benefit greatly from the resilience provided by Community Microgrids.

Learn more

Montecito Community Microgrid Initiative

There is a unique opportunity to build back right in Montecito after a devastating wildfire and debris flow, while ensuring indefinite renewables-driven backup power for critical emergency response and recovery facilities. This initiative will also showcase the grid of the future.

Learn more

North Bay Community Resilience Initiative

This initiative aims to create a more robust, resilient energy system and lower the environmental impacts of housing and transportation, while maximizing clean local energy use with solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Learn more

Valencia Gardens Energy Storage Project

Pairing innovative energy storage with an existing solar energy system at one of the largest solar installations in San Francisco, this project will provide an important example of using clean local energy to enhance grid stability in a dense urban environment.

Learn more

Hunters Point Community Microgrid Project

This project showcases how a utility can deploy higher levels of local renewables to secure economic, energy, and environmental benefits for its customers, using technologies and methodologies that are readily available today.

Learn more

Long Island Community Microgrid Project

Aiming to achieve nearly 50% of its grid-area electric power requirements from local solar, this project sets the stage to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in transmission investments that would otherwise be required to deliver power to the region.

Learn more

Creating a scalable, replicable solution

Rather than continuing the slow process of evaluating local renewable energy projects one at a time, our Community Microgrid Initiative is creating a fast pathway to bring clean local energy online.

By modeling large areas of the distribution grid, we can efficiently identify greater distributed generation opportunities, allowing utilities and regulators to establish streamlined deployment plans. This systemwide approach enables large amounts of local renewables to come online in months rather than years.

The Clean Coalition is collaborating with electric utilities and technology firms to ensure that grid modeling software enhances visibility and management of energy at the distribution grid level. This advanced distribution grid modeling, which includes optimization analysis for both the location and mix of distributed energy resources, allows for a quick and accurate assessment of an individual substation’s potential capacity for local renewable energy. Utilities can then rapidly deploy local renewables in communities based on simplified integration scenarios, such as:

  1. Lower-cost capacity: The amount and location of local renewables that can be brought online, using existing voltage regulation and advanced inverters, with minimal investment in the distribution grid
  2. Medium-cost capacity: The amount and location of local renewables that can be brought online with cost-effective storage and some investment in the distribution grid
  3. Higher-cost capacity: The amount and location of local renewables that can island essential services with additional storage, local reserves, and more substantial investment in the distribution grid

These scenarios will guide utilities and regulators to determine appropriate local capacity targets for renewable energy and establish pathways to meet an area’s specified goals.

The nine configurations

The Clean Coalition is focusing on nine Community Microgrid configurations, incorporating combinations of various factors.

Downloads

Recent news

The latest in clean local energy

Learn about our innovative projects and initiatives on our blog, and see what others are reporting about our important work.

How a standardized Value of Resilience will proliferate Community Microgrids

The ability to easily comprehend the Value of Resilience (VOR) is key to unleashing the indefinite power backup capabilities of renewables-driven microgrids.

Read More

The most effective way to deploy a Community Microgrid in the Goleta Load Pocket

A Feed-In Tariff targeted at critical community facilities will bring resilience to this California region.

Read More

Want to know if California can make zero emissions by 2045? Here’s what to watch

Utility Dive illustrates how get to a zero emissions economy in the state.

Read article