Solar microgrid to support critical water infrastructure


From pv magazine USA

Extended power outages are a rising threat to community resilience, due to the rise of extreme weather events and an aging, centralized US electric grid. AEP Ohio has therefore contracted Eaton to help build a solar microgrid to support its Tussing water booster station.

A microgrid can operate fully independently, or on “island” mode, to provide continuous power throughout long-term outages. The water booster station’s microgrid includes 100 kW of onsite solar generation and 440 kWh of battery energy storage. The Eaton project is fully commissioned and is expected to reach operations this quarter.

The microgrid supports the city of Columbus, Ohio, in reducing emissions by 45% and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It was funded partially through AEP Ohio’s Smart City program.

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“Climate change is already impacting quality of life in central Ohio, and the challenges stemming from its very existence will only continue to grow more frequent and more common in the years ahead,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We have an obligation to strengthen the resiliency of our infrastructure and to meet these challenges head on.”

The EPA said as much as 40% of operational costs for drinking water is tied to energy use. The new microgrid is an example of supporting this critical infrastructure more sustainably while remaining cost-effective.

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