Microgrids, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - October 27, 2022
Santa Barbara Adds Microgrid
The Santa Barbara Unified School District added a microgrid that includes 4.2 MW of solar across 14 district locations and six microgrids with 3.8 MW hours of battery energy storage for backup power and peak demand charge reduction.
The project is expected to offset approximately 90% of the solar array sites' energy use with renewable energy and the district is expected to save nearly $8 million over the project's lifetime with additional $6.47 million of value-added benefits from resilience.
The microgrid was installed by ENGIE North America.
With new funding opportunities through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), customers would be eligible through direct pay for up to a 30% tax credit or even higher, if certain conditions are met, on the cost of solar and storage projects as well as microgrid controller equipment. This program will make projects like the SBUSD very financially attractive and continue to support the triple bottom line in every bucket– economic, social and environmental.
"The scope for this program is one of the first for a school district in California," said Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Hilda Maldonado in a statement. "This is a community that has been continually impacted by wildfires and subsequent power shutoffs, mudslides and other natural disasters. This project will be critical in the district's efforts to preserve power where it can, as well as provide a fiscally responsible power insurance policy that will ultimately aid the entire community."