Cuyahoga County Sets March 3 Hearing Date for Plan that Calls for Multiple Microgrids

Feb. 26, 2021
The Cuyahoga County Council on Feb. 23 took a first step towards adopting a plan for multiple microgrids in the northeast Ohio county when it referred the proposed ordinance to the “committee of the whole.”

The Cuyahoga County Council on Feb. 23 took a first step toward adopting a plan for multiple microgrids in the northeast Ohio county when it referred the proposed ordinance to the “committee of the whole.”

Cuyahoga County is preparing to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) for multiple microgrids in an effort to spur business development.

The council is set to hold a hearing on the measure on March 3 and then possibly vote on it by the end of the month, according to Mike Foley, director of the county’s sustainability department.

The plan to set up multiple microgrids in the county grew out of an effort to establish a $100 million microgrid in Cleveland, Foley said.

That initiative, however, has stalled, according to Foley.

Cuyahoga County, the city of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and the Cleveland Foundation issued a request for qualifications in late 2019 for the Cleveland project and prequalified eight developers. 

Foley said an RFP was drafted but never issued amid leadership changes at CPP, a municipal utility, the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a campaign against CPP by FirstEnergy, an investor-owned utility company.

County officials are meeting with CPP officials about possibly reviving the Cleveland project, according to Foley.

The effort to set up a microgrid in the city gave Cuyahoga County a template to embark on its own effort to establish microgrids across the county, Foley said.

Setting up microgrids will give the county more control over its energy decisions, he added.

The county is considering microgrids for at least three areas. They include:

  • Aerozone, an innovation hub that spans several municipalities and includes the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport and the NASA Glenn Research Center
  • A 120-acre Sherwin-Williams research and development center in Brecksville
  • A former American Greetings headquarters and surrounding area in Brooklyn

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About the Author

Ethan Howland

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