Microgrid Solicitation Issued for Whole Foods Distribution Center

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Prospect Silicon Valley (ProspectSV) has issued a microgrid solicitation for a project planned at a Whole Foods distribution center in the greater San Francisco area.

The urban tech non-profit says it wants to deploy a highly visible project, designed to bring resiliency and behind-the-meter financial benefits to Whole Foods. The microgrid should be able to cut energy costs via demand curtailment, energy reduction and other grid-related services, according to information released about the project.

The ideal proposal will offer simplified, off-the-shelf platforms and products, says ProspectSV. The project will integrate existing and new distributed energy systems, building management systems, and grid signals, using recognized industry protocols for communication and security.

The microgrid should provide analytics/controls/intelligence for:

  • Operational resiliency through grid islanding/reconnection, relaying and protection, and power quality corrections
  • Direct financial benefits of demand forecasting, electric rate optimization and scheduling
  • Grid-level services such as voltage and frequency regulation

ProspectSV also seeks distributed energy resources (DERs), but they are a secondary priority to the software and controls technology. The microgrid may include such DERs as on-site generation (eg. solar PV panels), electricity storage and thermal storage. The project also may use direct current building technologies and energy efficiency measures, especially those related to refrigeration.

A team of microgrid experts — engineers, designers, and researchers – will review the proposals. Among other things, they will look for a microgrid that performs better than those in commercial operation, offers third-party validation, and is developed by a company with relative maturity.

Applications are due July 21. The team, which also includes engineering and consulting firm Arup, will conduct interviews with prospects in August and September and notify finalists in October. ProspectSV hopes to see construction begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The microgrid solicitation is available on the ProspectSV website.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.