Ameresco building renewable-battery storage microgrid at California wastewater plant

Illustration courtesy Ameresco.

Renewables developer Ameresco will design and build a microgrid for a California community utility.

McKinleyville Community Services District selected Ameresco to plan, design, procure, install and commission a microgrid at its wastewater treatment plant. McKinley CSD provides water, wastewater, parks and recreational services for about 17,000 residents along the Pacific coast in northern California.

The microgrid will include battery storage capacity and renewables.

“As part of our community’s broader sustainability efforts, this project creates a pathway for our local wastewater treatment facility to reach net-zero emissions,” said MCSD Manager Greg Orsini. “By bringing new, clean energy sources on-site and adding battery storage, the facility will produce as much energy as it consumes and be better prepared to withstand potential utility outages in the future.”

The microgrid management system that Massachusetts-based Ameresco will install under its energy services contract with MCSD will utilize existing dispatchable generation at the wastewater treatment plant to provide supplemental power and further grid resilience.

“Communities in Northern California have weathered some of the most extreme effects of climate change … which makes energy resiliency projects such as this one so important,” said Mike Bakas, Ameresco executive vice president, “Integrated Microgrids have proven their value for the government, local communities and the private sector, and Ameresco has earned a leadership position in this space. With that, we will leverage the full breadth of our team’s experience in developing this system to the benefit of the citizens of McKinleyville.”

Construction of the McKinleyville microgrid is scheduled to begin in 2020. Once completed, Ameresco will continue to provide operations and maintenance to the system under a long-term agreement.

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