Community Microgrid Configurations Initiative

The Clean Coalition is reviewing a number of Community Microgrid configurations that incorporate combinations of these factors:

  • Direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) solar+storage couplings
  • Behind-the-meter (BTM) and wholesale distributed generation (WDG) proximities to the customer meter
  • Net energy metering (NEM) and Feed-In Tariff (FIT) rate tariffs
  • Rule 21 and wholesale distribution tariff (WDT) interconnection tariffs

The basic configurations — more details, including diagrams to illustrate the configurations, follow below:

  1. DC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21
  2. AC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21
  3. DC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21 & WDT
  4. AC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21 & WDT
  5. DC-coupled WDG solar+storage, using FIT and WDT
  6. AC-coupled WDG solar+storage, using FIT and WDT
  7. WDG storage, using FIT and WDT
  8. WDG solar, using FIT and WDT
  9. BTM solar+storage, using NEM
A real-world example of configuration #7 is our Valencia Gardens Energy Storage (VGES) Project. This groundbreaking project, located in a disadvantaged community in the heart of San Francisco, will showcase how front-of-meter (FOM) energy storage can be effectively deployed in dense, developed urban environments. In the future, a grid isolation relay could be added to create a Community Microgrid, making VGES an example of configuration #6:
Potential long-term VGES resilience design
VGES will serve as a model that supports California’s emissions reductions goals, increases the state’s resilience and security, drives regional economic development, and lowers the cost of operating the power grid.

Configuration 1: DC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21

Configuration 2: AC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21

Configuration 3: DC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21 & WDT

Configuration 4: AC-coupled BTM solar+storage, using NEM and Rule 21 & WDT

Configuration 5: DC-coupled WDG solar+storage, using FIT and WDT

Configuration 6: AC-coupled WDG solar+storage, using FIT and WDT

Configuration 7: WDG storage, using FIT and WDT

Configuration 8: WDG solar, using FIT and WDT

Configuration 9: BTM solar+storage, using NEM

Learn more

Policies and market mechanisms to support these configurations

Community Microgrid deployments face a number of policy and market barriers. We’re working to optimize the significant economic, environmental, and resilience benefits of Community Microgrids, to truly unleash these important clean energy delpoyments.

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.

Santa Barbara School District launches game-changing Solar Microgrids

In an op-ed for T&D World, Executive Director Craig Lewis discusses the Clean Coalition's involvement in the state-of-the-art feasibility and RFP process that lead to the approval of solar microgrids across the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Read article

A new Tesla ‘big battery’ is being deployed to increase grid resilience in Santa Barbara…

Electrek reports on the Vallecito Energy Storage Resilience (VESR) Project and the Clean Coalition's backing of the project.

Read article

SBUSD Approves Solar Microgrids Across District

On page 17, Voice Magazine reports on the six Solar Microgrids that are to be implemented at Santa Barbara Unified School District sites and the Clean Coalition's support in the study & proposal processes.

Read article