Washington, DC Council Plans to Help Develop Microgrids; Seeks Consultants

April 15, 2015
A regional government organization plans to help develop microgrids in Washington, D.C., where the central grid showed its vulnerablity last week when a power outage hit key buildings.

A regional government organization plans to help develop microgrids in Washington, D.C., where the central grid showed its vulnerablity last week when a power outage hit key buildings.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), which represents 22 local governments and officials in the greater Washington, D.C. area, has issued a request for proposals seeking consultants to help with the project.

The District of Columbia is considered a prime location for microgrids because it depends on power imports and has many critical facilities. Several key buildings in D.C. lost power last week when a transmission wire broke in Maryland. Just a few weeks before the outage, a DC building owners organization had warned of the grid’s vulnerability and pushed for more local energy, including microgrids. (See our earlier article: “Why the Heck Are There No Microgrids in Washington, D.C.?“)

The organization said it plans to support its members and other stakeholders as they develop advanced microgrids. COG intends to offer consultant support services to project teams working on microgrids and related generation, distribution, and control systems.

According to COG’s April 8 RFP, the consultant work is likely to include: 1) Characterizing potential or actual microgrid locations, including buildings, other infrastructure, electrical and thermal loads, existing electric and thermal utility generation, distribution, and control assets; 2) Analysis and recommendations for microgrid system design, including technologies, engineering, system ownership and operations, deal structure and finance, and integration with existing electrical distribution utilities; 3) Analysis of system options using advanced computer simulation models

A technical selection committee, made up of COG staff and local government representatives, will select contract winners based on a point system. A proposal can receive up to 100 points.  The scoring offers the most weight, 50 points, for technical expertise and experience. Applicants can receive up to 25 points for technical approach and understanding of the project; 15 points for participating in a disadvantaged business enterprise; and 10 points for cost and price.

Proposals are due no later than 2 p.m. on April 22, 2015. The RFP is available on COG’s website.

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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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