Georgia utility, university start operations at 1.4-MW Tech Square Microgrid

Georgia Power and Georgia Tech are celebrating the start of operations for a 1.4-MW microgrid collaboration in metropolitan Atlanta.

The microgrid at Tech Square combines generation resources, energy storage and management systems for a self-contained power system at the metro site. The microgrid is part of Georgia Power’s integrated resource plan and is being operated to evaluate how the system can be integrated within the overall electrical grid.

Georgia Tech professors and students also will use the facility to gather data on controllers, cybersecurity devices and energy economics. Georgia Power and the university started work on the microgrid in 2019.

“The Tech Square Microgrid is a proven innovative project that will help us better understand microgrids to help service our customers. It brings energy storage and data front and center for research. The Microgrid’s distributed energy resources are vital to enhancing grid resiliency and bringing sustainable energy solutions to Georgia’s communities,” said Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO for Georgia Power. “Georgia Tech is one of the nation’s leading research institutions and has been an integral partner in allowing their students and teachers to learn how these systems will interact not only with our grid, but also with the CODA building on the Georgia Tech campus. It’s by collectively working together through projects like this that we will build a brighter energy future for our state.”

Fuel-cell will be key to one of next week’s POWERGEN+ sessions. Registration is free

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The microgrid will provide Georgia Power with insight on how smart energy management systems, such as the one installed at the CODA data center, can interact with the grid to achieve optimal utilization of energy. In addition, it will also provide teaching and learning opportunities for Georgia Tech professors and students.

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“Georgia Tech is committed to addressing the most consequential challenges of our time,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “That involves advancing science and technology, developing leaders who can create and deploy new solutions, and leading by example with our own practices. This microgrid is a great illustration of the latter. In our partnership with Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission, we will be developing and adopting some of the most advanced, efficient, and responsible energy solutions available in the hope we can serve as an example for others.”

The installation includes fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator, and it is adaptive to new and additional distributed energy resources. It is designed to also accommodate microturbines, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers in the future. All components will be placed on a platform and obscured from view with seven-foot-high fencing and gate access along Williams Street in Atlanta.

The fencing will have a mural designed and commissioned by Atlanta based artist Georgia F. Baker III to be finished later this year.

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