- Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) will receive $295,000 in state and federal funds to develop a series of microgrids to show how they can benefit the community, with the project using solar and storage, along with diesel generation for backup.
- While the project, being developed in three locations, will initially focus on enhanced reliability, officials told Microgrid Knowledge that the long term goal is to use the new power flexibility to bid resources into organized markets like the California ISO.
- The projects will target three types of community infrastructure, adding energy storage to a water and electricity emergency operations hub; a water pump station, and a multi-agency communications site.
The Oregon Department of Energy last month awarded EWEB a grant to install microgrids at three locations, and according to Microgrid Knowledge, the systems will range from 25 kW to 75 kW. While resiliency is their primary function – guarding the grid against a strong earthquake, for instance – the utility is also looking to bidding into organized markets as a way to leverage the systems.
“We anticipate as the cost of solar and storage come down and organized markets gain ground, we will be able to bid into them,” Will Price, an energy resource analyst with the utility, told Microgrid Knowledge.
The grant comes via a joint solicitation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, which committed $250,000 in federal funds. The Oregon Department of Energy partnered with Oregon BEST to award an additional $45,000 grant to EWEB and its development partners: Powin Energy and Green Energy Corp. Sandia National Laboratories will provide technical assistance.
“We have a very good team,” U.S. DOE Program Manager Imre Gyuk said in a statement. “The long-term benefits for Oregon, and indeed the entire industry, are outstanding."