Solar microgrid to offer protection from fire threats


From pv magazine USA

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has commissioned its first hybrid renewable microgrid, built and installed by BoxPower.

The microgrid is planned as a permanent replacement for overhead distribution lines and is the first in a series of planned microgrids, the utility said. PG&E said it has identified hundreds of areas that would benefit from microgrid deployment and has targeted up to 20 operational remote grid sites by the end of 2022.

The new microgrid will help to reduce the risk of wildfires, PG&E said. It will supply power to a handful of customers in a High Fire-Threat District (HFTD) outside of Yosemite National Park in Briceburg, California. Rather than having long distribution lines run through HFTD areas to pockets of isolated customers, the microgrid allows for localized electricity delivery.

This microgrid project echoes some principles of the solutions proposed by Sunrun, which has worked to build distributed grids with solar and storage for increased reliability and safety. It uses BoxPower’s SolarContainer, which provides a total PV capacity of 36.5 kW, as well as a 27.2kW/ 68.4/kWh lithium ferro phosphate storage system.

Almost 90% of the energy produced will be generated by renewable sources, with the remainder to come from two integrated propane generators. A fire suppression system will protect the hardware and the facility. 

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