Sunnyvale, California, and Others in Silicon Valley Exploring Microgrid Projects

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Sunnyvale, California, is in the early stages of exploring a microgrid in a planned innovative district to boost energy resilience and meet clean energy goals.

Sunnyvale microgrid

By Michael Vi/

A city of about 150,000 people, Sunnyvale is creating an “ecological innovative” district covering close to 1,200 acres in an area called Moffett Park.

The Sunnyvale City Council in late May approved a conceptual plan for the area of up to 10 million square feet of new office and research and development space, up to 18,500 residential units and up to 500,000 square feet of new commercial real estate.

After going through an environmental review, the city council could vote on a final plan in the fall of 2022, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, Moffett Park Business Group and Silicon Valley businesses signed a memorandum of understanding with Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit group, to explore building a microgrid in the Moffett Park area.

The goal of the effort is to create a reliable and responsive energy network using smart and clean technologies, according to Moffett Park Business Group.

We’re seeking speakers for Microgrid California to be held Oct. 5, 2021, in the San Francisco Bay Area! Deadline is Aug. 16.

The initiative has a steering committee that includes the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the city of Sunnyvale, NetApp, Google and Moffett Park Business Group members.

The effort in Sunnyvale comes as neighboring San Jose in May approved Google’s 80-acre Downtown West project, which includes a microgrid with 7.8 MW of solar and 10 MW of battery storage.

There are several ownership options for the San Jose microgrid, including being owned by the city, according to a March presentation on Google’s proposed “district systems” approach to providing utility service in the Downtown West area.

The microgrid could be owned by Pacific Gas and Electric through the utility’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program or Google could own it if the company gets regulatory approval, according to the presentation.

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