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

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