Duke Energy partners with Maryland county to create microgrids

Published on November 07, 2018 by Dave Kovaleski

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Two microgrids were officially activated at the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., and Correctional Facility in Boyds, Md., last week, according to Montgomery County, Md., Executive Ike Leggett.

The microgrids are on-site clean power generation systems that allow each of the facilities to operate independently from the power grid. This will ensure the continuity of operations if there is a catastrophic storm or major power outage.

“Montgomery County is one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to incorporate resilient energy resources, enabling essential public facilities to be self-sufficient and reduce our overall carbon footprint,” Leggett said. “The Public Safety Headquarters and the Montgomery County Correctional Facility are essential to protecting our communities. The solar panels and other advanced systems added to these facilities will generate clean power and take stress off the power grid during extreme weather conditions and other emergencies.”

The microgrids were made possible through a public-private partnership (P3) with Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables that required no upfront costs for the county.

Duke Energy Renewables will own and operate both microgrids with the assistance of its subsidiary, REC Solar, and Schneider Electric. The two microgrids will produce over 11 million kilowatt hours per year. They will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 1,400 cars from the road or planting 178,000 new trees. The Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters microgrid earned the Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification from Green Business Certification Inc.

“This Microgrid project is a major benefit for Montgomery County and the entire National Capital Region,” Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer said. “This P3 with Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables ensures that our Public Safety Headquarters and Correctional Facility has continuity of critical services during power losses, reduces our carbon footprint, and saves our residents millions of dollars.”