Port of Long Beach to Receive Solar Microgrid, Courtesy of Schneider Electric

The project will include the finest solar energy innovations, including solar microgrid controls via cloud-connected, solar energy management software.


Microgrids have been one of the hottest topics discussed in the  power industry this year. The innovative and flexible design of solar microgrids, especially for expanding businesses, power stability, and other means, has made solar microgrid implementation an increasingly popular choice for businesses and community locations nation and worldwide. Solar-powered microgrids serve several purposes that have made their popular increase substantially in the last few years. The trend of turning to solar microgrids for and utility needs is not likely to slow down any time soon. Plans are set in motion to create a decarbonized and greener future in nearly every state in our nation via solar microgrid and other renewable energy technologies. 

Solar Microgrid Features 

Port of Long Beach in California is one such location being revolutionized by solar microgrid technology. Schneider Electric has entered into a contract set at $5.2 million with the Port, with the majority of the project being funded by a grant offered by the California Energy Commission for $5 million. The project will include the finest solar energy innovations, including solar microgrid controls via cloud-connected, solar energy management software. These integrations will help optimize day-to-day energy output and make the microgrid as a whole more efficient. 

One of the highlights of the project will include a 300 kW photovoltaic system integrated with a 250kW microgrid specifically for mobile batter energy, a 500kW Diesel Generator, and the additional support of other solar microgrids. This particular integration is intended to allow for energy resilience and stability, as well as an ability for an increased response to solar power issues or increased demands. Ensuring stability is the primary priority, according to Tracy Egoscue. As president of The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Egoscue welcomed the introduction of microgrid solar technology to the Port of Long Beach. 

Goals Moving Forward 

Schneider Electric is committed to working with the Port of Long Beach and associated companies, as well as ensuring their involvement with the surrounding community. Knowing that these microgrids will primarily benefit the population at large, focusing on all areas of demand in the public sector has helped strengthened their mission. Schneider Electric plans to partner with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in order to strengthen their workforce through the use of on-the-job trainings and paid apprentice opportunities. Schneider Electric also plans to work with administrators and faculty at Long Beach City College. Ultimately, partnering with other organizations will help Schneider Electric meet their solar sustainability goals and make the most effective use of the new solar microgrid.  

The Most Effective Solar Solutions 

A solar microgrid at Port of Long Beach will help support local commercial businesses, along with critical sectors that require consistent and sustainable energy. Mark Feasel, Vice President of Schneider Electric’s Smart Grid and Microgrid sector, is particularly aware of the challenges they will face as they continue forward with construction on the solar microgrid. He ultimately sees this project as a way to boost energy resilience, as well as increase the overall security and safety measures for various infrastructures at the Port.  

In addition to these new developments in the solar energy landscape for Southern California, one company by the name of Southern California Edison plans to invest over $350 million into electric vehicles, in industrial areas in particular, throughout the greater Los Angeles and Long Beach areas. This plan from Southern California Edison is set to consist of more than 830 charging stations city-wide with the hope that upwards of 8,000 zero-emission automobiles will be on the roads.  

A Highlight in the Solar Industry 

Due to the increased popularity of micro solar grids, it should come as no surprise that one of the largest solar and renewable power generation events in the world known as POWER-GEN International, will feature microgrids as one of twelve of their 2018 conference tracks. Naming solar microgrids as an ideal solution, POWER-GEN International will feature various presentations that specifically relate to solar microgrid technology. These presentations along with panel discussions will take a look at topics such as commercial and industrial approaches to solar microgrids, how solar microgrids have changed in the market over the course of time, and how the energy storage of solar microgrids can be enhanced and sustained.  







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