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 Prepares for New Normal of Natural Disasters and Power Shutoffs

T&D World reports on how Santa Barbara is working toward making its region more energy self-sufficient in times of disaster.

Read article

A New Model for Valuing Distributed Energy Could Drive Big Changes in California

GTM Squared reports on the important implications of California’s new avoided cost calculator for the state’s energy market — including the solar duck curve.

Read article

Identifying untapped potential for renewable energy in the Southwestern United States

The Clean Coalition found significant potential from ready-to-deploy wind and solar projects.

Read More