Snohomish County PUD Moves Forward on Microgrid

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Construction has started on the next phase of a $12 million microgrid project being developed by Snohomish County Public Utility District in Washington state.

The Arlington microgrid is designed to provide grid resiliency while also integrating renewable energy, according to the Everett, Washington-based public power utility. 

The microgrid will include a Clean Energy Technology Center project, a modular data center and a utility office.

PUD plans RFP in April seeking entities to install controller and storage….

Construction started recently on the clean energy center, which will be used to show the public microgrid technology, and the modular data center, Snohomish County PUD said February 11.

After the clean energy center is finished and the data center installed this summer, construction will start on the microgrid, which is expected to be operating late this year, according to the public power utility.

The project includes an already installed 500-kW community solar array with smart inverters, a 1 MW/1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system and several vehicle-to-grid charging stations for the utility’s electric vehicle fleet. The battery system will provide back-up power to the Clean Energy Technology Center, the mobile data center and a planned community office.

Snohomish County PUD said it has all contracts in place for the microgrid except for a contract to install the battery energy storage system and microgrid control system. The PUD plans to issue a request for proposals for that work in April.

The utility has already secured the battery and controller that it wants installed. ABB is providing the equipment for the battery and controller, with Burns & McDonnell acting as the system design engineer. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products is working on the vehicle-to-grid system and the chargers, which are scheduled to arrive at the site in June, according to the utility.


Construction under way of the Snomish County CETC. Photo by Snohomish County PUD

The project is supported by $3.5 million in funding from the Washington Clean Energy Fund through the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Once the microgrid is operating, researchers from the University of Washington will study the project to explore the economics of microgrids, energy storage and solar in the Pacific Northwest.

Snohomish County PUD has about 350,000 electric customers and about 21,000 water customers.

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