Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. is a growing renewable energy and regulated utility company with assets across North America. The Corporation acquires and operates green and clean energy assets including hydroelectric, wind, thermal, and solar power facilities, as well as sustainable utility distribution businesses (water, electricity and natural gas) through its two operating subsidiaries: Liberty Power and Liberty Utilities.
Liberty Utilities CalPeco “Liberty”, a 50,000 customer electric utility serving the Tahoe-Truckee region in California, has commissioned the new Sagehan Microgrid. The Microgrid allows Liberty, to de-energize four miles of power line in the high wildfire risk summer months.
Location: The UC Berkley Sagehen Creek Field Station is located 1.75 miles west of highway 89 north of Truckee CA: 11616 Sage Hen Rd, Truckee, CA 96161.
Existing Electrical Infrastructure: 90 poles are supporting 4 miles of power line and UC Berkley Sagehen Creek Field Station as a single customer. Line runs through environmentally sensitive lands.
Innovation Team: In 2019, Liberty developed an Innovation Team. Led out of the head office in Oakville, Ontario, the team comprises of specialists in each region to collaborate and find innovative energy solutions for their customers. The cross-border team collaborated to develop a solution that was forward-thinking and cost-effective to customers.
Microgrid Installation: After a competitive RFP process, the EPC Contract was awarded to BoxPower. The Microgrid will consist of 48 solar panels and 53kWh of battery storage system with a backup propane generator. This complete system is expected to operate on greater than 95% renewable energy. The generator is available to provide power only when there is insufficient charge in the batteries or during no or low solar energy production. The major equipment will be housed in a climate-controlled Storage Container on a concrete pad, safe from the elements.
Projected Completion Date: November 16, 2020
Benefits to Liberty Customers: The Microgrid is a decentralized electric source and distribution that can provide electric power to an isolated area of the electrical distribution system and be synchronized with the full system, providing additional power and load balancing. It reduces both wildfire risk to the region and provides power generation and balancing to the full system. This project was a transmission and distribution deferral project. However, in order to harden the line for wildfire mitigation, it would have required significant time for environmental permitting, and over $3Million in Capital costs. The Microgrid was a more efficient and cost-effective solution for all customers. Similar future microgrid projects will continue to add renewable electricity generation to the system as well as provide greater flexibility and reliability to customers.