Four California Microgrid Projects Recommended for $22M in Grants

Jan. 20, 2018
California officials on Friday recommended $22 million in grants for four microgrid projects, in the first group of awards out of a $44.7 million offering.

California officials on Friday recommended $22 million in grants for four microgrid projects, in the first group of awards out of a $44.7 million offering.

The first round of funding is designated for microgrid projects at California military bases, ports, and native American tribal facilities (GFO-17-302).

Learn more about California microgrid projects at Microgrid 2019.

The four awards recommended by the staff of the California Energy Commission are:

  • Pala Microgrid Project, Pala Band of Mission Indians, $7 million
  • Project RIZE: Resiliency in a Zero Emissions Future, City of Long Beach Harbor Department for the Port of Long Beach, $5 million
  • Power Begins at Home – R2M2 Resilient Replicable Modular Microgrids: Assured Energy Security for Military Bases, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, $5 million
  • SemperGRID: Phase II ScaleUp and Business Case Demonstration of Advanced Microgrid Deployment at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, $5 million

The awards become final upon a vote of the commission. The projects were selected from among 16 proposals submitted in November.

Of those, 15 qualified for consideration. The qualified applicants included Ameresco, Consolidated Edison Solutions, Electric Power Research Institute, Grid Alternatives, Handbook Holdings, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, TRC Engineers, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, SIA Solutions and the San Diego Unified Port District.

The next two rounds of grants, which the commission expects to announce in February, will include microgrid projects being developed for disadvantaged communities or other microgrids that provide “clear and definable added value” to utility customers, according to a notice released by the commission.

Launched in August, the state offered the $44.7 million to help microgrid projects achieve commercialization. Individual microgrid grants will range from a minimum of $2 million to a maximum of $7 million. Winners must provide matching funds of 20 to 25 percent.

This $44.7 million offering is the second – and largest — major solicitation for microgrid projects issued by the commission. In 2014 the commission offered $26.5 million, which resulted in seven microgrid demonstration projects.

California is among a list of states now actively courting microgrids with grant money.  Others include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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