Ameresco has been selected by the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) in California to design and build an integrated microgrid at the Hiller Park wastewater treatment plant.

The microgrid will use an existing diesel generator along with new solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery energy storage system to optimize electrical grid resiliency while offering both financial and environmental benefits to the community.

Located on the Pacific Coast in Northern California, McKinleyville is a fast growing community in the region. MCSD is responsible for delivering safe and reliable water, wastewater, parks and recreation services to the community’s 16,900 residents.

Ameresco has been selected to plan, design, procure, install and commission a community microgrid at the wastewater treatment plant, due to its experience in implementing such advanced energy technology solutions.

McKinleyville Community Services District manager Greg Orsini said: “As part of our community’s broader sustainability efforts, this project creates a pathway for our local wastewater treatment facility to reach net-zero emissions.

“By bringing new, clean energy sources on-site and adding battery storage, the facility will produce as much energy as it consumes and be better prepared to withstand potential utility outages in the future.”

Ameresco to begin construction on microgrid in 2020

Ameresco stated that the microgrid management system that it will install under the energy services contract will use the existing dispatchable power generation at the wastewater plant to provide supplemental power and offer further grid resilience.

The microgrid’s construction is expected to begin this year. Once completed, Ameresco will continue to provide operations and maintenance to the system under a long-term agreement.

Ameresco executive vice president Mike Bakas said: “Communities in Northern California have weathered some of the most extreme effects of climate change coupled with PG&E’s PSPS events, which makes energy resiliency projects such as this one so important.

“Integrated Microgrids have proven their value for the government, local communities and the private sector, and Ameresco has earned a leadership position in this space. With that, we will leverage the full breadth of our team’s experience in developing this system to the benefit of the citizens of McKinleyville.”