California Airport, Coast Guard Microgrid Launched  - Smart Energy Decisions

Industrial, Solar  -  June 9, 2022

California Airport, Coast Guard Microgrid Launched 

A microgrid for California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport and U.S. Coast Guard Air Station is now operating with power from 100% renewable energy.

The new microgrid was developed through a partnership between the County of Humboldt, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, Tesla, Inc., The Energy Authority and TRC.

The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid (RCAM) features a 2.2 MW solar photovoltaic array that is DC-coupled to a 2-MW (9 megawatt-hour) battery energy storage system, comprised of three Tesla Megapacks. It also includes a microgrid control system with protection and isolation devices that interfaces directly with PG&E’s distribution control center.

.The Schatz Energy Research Center is the prime contractor and technology integrator, leading the design, testing and deployment of the clean energy microgrid.

“The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid has ushered in a new and exciting era for the electric grid in California. With its successful deployment and the development of new microgrid agreements and tariffs, RCAM has become a role model and beacon to communities across the state who are striving to green their energy supply and bolster their resilience in the face of climate change,” said Peter Lehman, Founding Director of the Schatz Center and project lead, in a statement.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), the Community Choice Aggregator for the Humboldt Bay area, owns the two solar arrays and the battery energy storage system.

PG&E owns, operates and maintains the microgrid circuit and controls the microgrid during “islanded” operation. In the event of a broader grid outage, the clean-energy microgrid provides indefinite power for the 19 connected customers by disconnecting or “islanding” from the broader grid when needed and becoming an independent, PG&E-operated grid segment. 

The regional California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport (ACV) is in McKinleyville, California and provides commercial airline, private, and emergency medical flights. Adjacent to the airport, the US Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay provides search and rescue from the Mendocino-Sonoma county line to the California-Oregon border.


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