San Diego to Install Solar ‘Microgrids’

The self-sufficient energy systems will help the city improve its resiliency during power outages.

1 minute read

July 13, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Solar panels and wind turbines against sunset colors

hrui / Adobe Stock

Eight solar-powered “microgrids” will be installed at municipal facilities in San Diego as part of the city’s effort to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for power outages. According to an article by Ysabelle Kempe in Smart Cities Dive, the microgrids are “local, self-sufficient energy systems that can function independently from the larger grid.”

As Kempe explains, “The buildings selected for microgrid installation will be able to serve communities during grid outages, acting as shelters or supply distribution centers. The city likened installing the microgrids to installing a backup diesel generator, but without the greenhouse gas emissions.”

Despite their utility, microgrids are rare because they require a significant outlay of upfront investment. “Shell New Energies, an arm of the Dutch oil giant Shell, is partially funding San Diego’s microgrids. The energy company will develop, own and operate the microgrids. The projects are also supported by $950,000 in grants from the California Energy Commission.”

 San Diego estimates the microgrids will save the city $6 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years and will “bring the city closer to its 2035 goal to power all municipal buildings with renewable energy.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 in Smart Cities Dive

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Close-up of apartment rental listing on iPad or tablet device.

Colorado Becomes First State in US to Regulate AI for Bias

Under the new law, developers, deployers, and businesses using AI systems at “high-risk” for bias discrimination in critical areas like housing will be required to account for risks and be transparent about how the technology is being used.

55 minutes ago - People of Color in Tech

3D rendering of blue flying car over a cityscape and buildings, a river, and bridges in the background.

Minnesota Legalizes Flying Cars

A new Minnesota law outlines state registration of “roadable aircraft” and legalizes their use on state roads and highways.

1 hour ago - The U.S. Sun

Green highway signs on Highway 23 for Ann Arbor and Flint, Michigan.

Michigan DOT Nixes Ann Arbor Highway Expansion

In response to public feedback, the Michigan Department of Transportation is no longer considering options to widen U.S. 23 on Ann Arbor’s east side.

2 hours ago - MLive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.