The Project focused on the design, installation, and operation of a community scale microgrid. The site of the microgrid was an existing utility circuit that had a peak load of 4.6 MW serving 615 customers, with a significant installed base of PV (800 kW), in a remote area of the service territory.  While a few microgrid trials have taken place in the US, they have typically been of a smaller scale and not directly applicable to the real operating environment with many customers.

This project differs from previous efforts and has extended the knowledge base as follows:

  • The Microgrid supported actual customers in a real operating environment
  • The project is at significant scale (>4MW)
  • The Microgrid design incorporates both reliability and economic oriented operations
  • Microgrid operations investigate the technical and economic interactions of multiple resources
  • The project investigates the ability to use pricing signals to guide operations

The project focused on the installation, integration and operation of the following key technologies:

  • Distributed Energy Resources (Diesel Generators, DG)
  • Advanced Energy Storage (grid-scale, community-scale, and residential-scale)
  • Feeder Automation System Technologies
  • Price Driven Load Management
  • Integration with DMS/OMS and Microgrid Controls

One of the highlights of the microgrid project was the ability to effectively island the entire microgrid supporting more than 600 customers. The islanding demonstrations transitioned into and out of the island mode without affecting the quality of service to the customers (seamless transitions without an outage or flicker). The island demonstrations evaluated the island operations with the DG units only, the DG units operating with energy storage in both charge and discharge modes, and the DG units operating with the energy storage unit providing a majority of the reactive power requirements. All demonstrations were successful and demonstrated the stated operational objectives