City of Palo Alto to test microgrid - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Microgrids  -  November 15, 2018

City of Palo Alto to test microgrid

The City of Palo Alto, Calif., will explore developing a microgrid with VMware, Inc. to test the potential of microgrids to advance resiliency at the corporate and community level. The goal of the partnership is to expand this initial “proof of concept” into a campus-level community microgrid that incorporates renewable power, battery storage and additional controls in a network that can operate cooperatively with the City of Palo Alto Utilities infrastructure.

The microgrid will be used to augment the community’s emergency services by providing a charging site for the City’s emergency command vehicles and an emergency communications node that can be used during major emergencies that cause extended power outages and fuel shortages. The microgrid will be located at VMware’s headquarters campus in Palo Alto and will be isolated from the larger power grid to operate independently if the larger grid fails, providing a level of backup power for critical systems. 

"Palo Alto has long been a leader in sustainability and our community has a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon impact," said Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss in a statement. "The opportunity to partner with VMware to use this microgrid as a way to strengthen our emergency services could help advance our readiness as a community."

The statement noted, "VMware and the City of Palo Alto Utilities will explore the potential for a collaborative relationship between a public utility managing the electric distribution grid and a private company generating electricity on-site combined with storage for access to power when the grid goes down." VMware and the City will explore new technologies on this microgrid to advance the controls and software that define how a smart microgrid works and how it integrates with the broader utility network.


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