UC Berkeley extends deadlines for campus microgrid solicitation

Feb. 15, 2022
The University of California, Berkeley, which is undertaking an aggressive plan to create a carbon-free electricity system for its campus, has issued a solicitation for technical and engineering consulting services for a microgrid.

The University of California, Berkeley, which is undertaking an aggressive plan to create a carbon-free electricity system for its campus, has extended the deadlines for its solicitation for technical and engineering consulting services for a microgrid.

Originally due March 11, bids are now due March 25. Potential bidders should take note that they are required to attend a pre-bid videoconference on Feb. 24. 

The university intends to retire its aging combined heat and power plant and switch over to microgrid service within eight years. 

Its plan emerged out of a need for greater energy resilience. The campus has experienced several public safety power shutoff power outages that led to lost business days as well as research and class disruptions.

UC Berkeley’s cogeneration plant, which produces steam and electricity, didn’t have enough capacity to fully power the campus during the power shutoffs, which were conducted to reduce the risk of wildfires.

The campus is also acting in step with the University of California system, which will make buildings and vehicles carbon neutral by 2025. The strategy requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and the use of carbon offsets to cover any remaining emissions.

In addition, the university intends to get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2035.

Ultimately, UC Berkeley wants to act as a clean energy model that other educational institutions can emulate. It is producing an integrated resource and activation plan to create a technical, living lab and financing blueprint. To that end, the request for proposals (RFP) seeks a technical and engineering strategic consultant team with deep experience in complex large-scale energy system decarbonization transformations, including electrification of thermal systems and resiliency and efficiency strategies supported by renewable energy and storage solutions.

Learn more about UC Berkeley’s microgrid and decarbonization. Watch a video of Kira Stoll, the university’s chief sustainability and carbon solutions officer, discussing the project at Microgrid California.

The solicitation (RFP #002714-JAN2022) is being managed by the university’s Office of Sustainability and the Facilities Services department, and it can be found on CalUSource: https://calusource.net.

In June, the university issued a request for proposals for a financial consultant to help with the microgrid project.

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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 RealEnergyWriters.com, 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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