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.

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