Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid Completion and Grand Opening
Please join us next Wednesday, June 22, to celebrate the completion and successful commercial operation of our Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid.
Humboldt County has shown once again that it is an innovative leader and collaborative model for renewable energy, sustainability, and resilience. This accomplishment also demonstrates how Community Choice Energy programs like ours are accelerating the movement away from fossil fuels and decarbonizing our local energy resources.
You will hear speakers from RCEA, the Schatz Energy Research Center, the California Energy Commission, PG&E, the California Public Utilities Commission, the County Airport, Cal-Ore Life Flight, Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Blue Lake Rancheria, and Cal Poly Humboldt provide the context and the vision.
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The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid is California’s first completely renewable, front-of-the-meter, multi-customer microgrid. It is the product of a collaborative partnership between the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, the Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt, the County of Humboldt, Pacific Gas & Electric, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Tesla, Inc., TRC, and The Energy Authority. Many local and regional contractors also contributed to this groundbreaking effort.
This microgrid project was funded by the California Energy Commission’s EPIC program, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, and was supported by a loan from the US Department of Agriculture.
The regional California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport (ACV) is located in McKinleyville, California, and serves the greater North Coast community with over 50,000 flights per year, including commercial airline, private, and emergency medical flights. Adjacent to the airport, the US Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay provides search and rescue for 250 miles of rural coastline, from the Mendocino-Sonoma County line to the California-Oregon border.
The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid (RCAM) features a 2.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic array that is DC-coupled to a 2-megawatt (9 megawatt-hour) battery energy storage system, comprised of three Tesla Megapacks.
When a power outage occurs, the microgrid islands from the main grid and energizes the circuit that encompasses the airport, the adjacent Coast Guard Air Station, and several neighboring facilities. RCAM will provide seamless, ongoing electricity for all customers in the microgrid circuit during any local outages.
During standard blue-sky operations, RCAM generates clean and renewable energy for RCEA’s customers and participates in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) wholesale energy markets. By storing solar energy during the day and releasing it onto the grid as needed in the evening and during heavy demand periods, RCAM enables greater utilization of solar, supports grid reliability, and creates an economic model for future microgrids.
This project is also a template for PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program and Tariff – which have paved the way for communities across California to provide resilience for their own critical facilities.
photo: Schatz Energy Research Center
We hope to see you on Wednesday. You can also visit our website for updates and details on all our projects, progress, and events. And THANK YOU to all our customers and partners for joining us and exercising your power to choose.