Maryland County Contracts for Two Advanced Microgrids for Public Safety

Feb. 3, 2017
Montgomery County, Maryland plans to build advanced microgrids at two public safety facilities in a deal announced this week during the DistribuTECH conference in San Diego.

Montgomery County, Maryland plans to build advanced microgrids at two public safety facilities in a deal announced this week during the DistribuTECH conference in San Diego.

The advanced microgrids will be installed at the county’s Public Safety Headquarters and Correctional Facility under a contract with Duke Energy and Schneider Electric.

Delivered via a microgrid-as-a-service (MaaS) model, the microgrids use solar and high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP). The projects include power system upgrades and advanced controls.

Montgomery County expects the microgrids to go into operation in 2018.

The county is among a growing number of local governments seeking microgrids to ensure that the lights stay when the central grid goes down. Montgomery County officials said that the advanced microgrids will help them respond to major storms and other natural disasters, as well as ensure more reliable and efficient power.

The microgrids will produce about 3.3 million kWh of solar energy and 7.4 million kWh of CHP each year. The project is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,629 metric tons annually.

In addition, to offering clean and reliable power, the advanced microgrids will provide a cost-effective energy alternative for the county. By developing both microgrids through the MaaS model, Montgomery County says it can complete construction without any upfront costs.

“The way we finance these types of resiliency projects is a national model for other local governments and the private sector,” said David Dise, Department of General Services director.

“The way we finance these types of resiliency projects is a national model for other local governments and the private sector.”

“Rather than buying the microgrid system outright, the county partners with a private entity that owns, operates and maintains the system. The county then purchases the electricity and heat generated. This model allows us to further modernize and improve the capabilities of our facilities at low or no cost while also reducing our environmental impact,” Dise said.

Schneider Electric will play a large role in designing and implementing the solution, while Duke Energy Renewables will own both advanced microgrids. Duke’s affiliate, REC Solar, will build the solar system. Schneider Electric will also assist Duke Energy Renewables in the operation of the microgrids.

The correctional facility houses central County Police and County Fire and Rescue Services functions, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), and the 1st District Police Station. Located in Boyds, Maryland, the facility is responsible for the custody and care of about 1,000 inmates.

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Sarah Rubenoff

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