Together with Blue Lake Rancheria, a Native American reservation in the federal U.S.-state California, and the Schatz Energy Research Center of California’s Humboldt State University, Siemens is building a microgrid to supply electrical power to the reservation’s key buildings and institutions across 0.4 square kilometers. The tribal government building, businesses, a hotel and critical Red Cross safety shelter-in-place facilities, among others, will be supplied. In coordination with the local utility Pacific Gas & Electric, the microgrid – a regional and island network capable intelligent power distribution grid – will enable the reservation to cover its future energy demand independently and ecologically without a significant risk of blackouts or power interruptions. The microgrid is planned to be installed and operational by fall 2016.
The assets to be integrated into the microgrid system include a photovoltaic plant with a power output of 0.5 MW, a biomass fuel cell system and diesel generators for generating electrical power as well as a battery storage system with a working capacity of 950 kWh. The microgrid’s photovoltaic plant will be the largest in California’s Humboldt County.
The microgrid energy management solution based on the Siemens network control system Spectrum Power supports unmanned operation and runs on a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) platform. The network control system will handle control and energy management functions of the local power supply grid. Supplemented by integrated weather and load forecasting tools of the grid control system, the reservation will be able to accurately predict power consumption in order to control the distributed power generation systems and storage units dynamically and energy efficiently.