Construction starts at solar microgrid in Northern California Tribal community


A solar and energy storage microgrid project has begun construction in Corning, California, where the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians held a groundbreaking event for the project.

A microgrid can operate separately from the larger utility grid, making it resilient to adverse extreme weather events, rolling blackouts, and other grid conditions. Once complete, the microgrid will add 5 MW of solar capacity along with 15 MWh of long duration energy storage with an 18-hour duration.

“We are grateful to partner with the CEC and host this grant for this renewable energy project,” said Paskenta Tribal Chairman Andrew “Dru” Alejandre. “Our people have always cared for the land as it has cared for us. We continue to understand our responsibilities as people and will continue to adapt to modern ways for many generations. We are responsible for preserving our environment for future generations. This project will allow us to provide sustainable energy and most importantly increasing energy sovereignty.”

The project was funded in part by a $32 million grant from the California Energy Commission. Funds came from the Governor Newsom administration supported Long-Duration Energy Storage Program, which invests up to $330 million into non-lithium long duration energy storage technologies to be deployed across the state.

“California is showing the world how to fight the climate crisis while creating good jobs and more resilient communities,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re building more projects like these to secure a clean and reliable energy future that benefits all our communities.”

California has aggressively pursued adding energy storage to the grid as more intermittent renewable energy generation sources like solar and wind come online. The state’s deployed storage capacity has increased 757% in four years, storing enough electricity to power 6.6 million homes for up to four hours.

The state has made considerable progress towards its clean energy goals. Nearly 60% of its electricity comes from emissions-free sources, making progress towards the goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. California has built over 35 GW of clean energy capacity statewide.

Read more pv magazine USA coverage of microgrids.

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