O&M, On-Site Power, Renewables

Schneider Electric Building Microgrid at Port of Long Beach

The nation’s second busiest port is taking big steps toward a more decentralized and decarbonized energy future.

Schneider Electric announced Wednesday that it has a $5.2 million contract to design, engineer and build a new microgrid at the Port of Long Beach in southern California. The company will create a microgrid technology demonstration which will include an integrated system of distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrid controls, enabling added resilience via long-term islanding at the port’s critical response facility, the Joint Command and Control Center (JCCC), which functions as the port’s hub for security.

The Port of Long Beach also is going get a huge infusion of electric vehicle infrastructure in a separate deal, but more on that later.

Schneider Electric’s $5.2 million contract with the Port is part of a $7.1 million project that is partially funded by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The microgrid will include the preconfigured hardware solution, Energy Control Center – DC coupled and merged with technologies from partner EnSync Energy, mobile storage solution, microgrid controls and EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor, the cloud-connected, demand-side energy management software platform that simplifies the Port’s DER integration and allows microgrid operators to collect, forecast and automatically optimize operations. The project will also include EcoStruxure Power solutions including Power Monitoring and Power SCADA Operation.

The project will also include installation of a 300 kW array photovoltaic (PV) system for energy production, integration of a 250kW microgrid-extending mobile battery energy, a 500kW Diesel Generator and the installation of additional microgrid controls to allow demand response, peak shaving, and islanded operations for energy resilience. As part of the project, Energy Control Center will also leverage 330 kilowatt (kW) and 670 kilowatt per hour (kWh) stationary battery energy storage.

“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbor Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” said Tracy Egoscue, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President. “We welcome this microgrid technology demonstration in Long Beach.”

Over the course of the microgrid installation, Schneider Electric will work with the Port of Long Beach to compile and analyze 12 months of performance data to ensure the microgrid is effectively helping the port meet its energy resilience goals. Schneider Electric will also work with Long Beach City College and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to strengthen local workforce development and training initiatives, in addition to providing paid, on-the-job training to apprentices during construction.

“Across all industries and public entities, there is increasing demand to bolster energy resilience to support business continuity at critical facilities. The plans of the Port of Long Beach illustrate the foresight required to augment ongoing electrification efforts with resilience,” said Mark Feasel, Vice President, Smart Grid & Microgrid, Schneider Electric. “This new Microgrid will leverage advanced controls to enhance resilience, and increase safety and security for critical infrastructure at the port.”

Earlier this year, Southern California Edison detailed plans to invest more than $350 million toward electric vehicle infrastructure in industrial areas including the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The utility hopes to install about 830 charging sites and get 8,000 new zero-emission vehicles in operation.

(Rod Walton can be reached at 918-831-9177 or [email protected]).

Microgrids will be a new track at POWER-GEN International, the nation’s largest power conference happening December 4-6 in Orlando. Click here for more information on conference content and schedules. 

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