- A $7.1 million project at the Port of Long Beach will demonstrate how microgrid technology can provide a clean, reliable supply of electricity for critical operations, according to a press release.
- Helped by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission, the port will install a solar carport, power storage systems and advanced controls at its security headquarters.
- As part of the project, the port will analyze 12 months of performance data and share it with the state’s other seaports.
Simply put, microgrids deliver the ability to use solar and other distributed energy resources (DER) to keep operations running when the main grid is interrupted or goes down, according to the website of Schneider Electric, which will design, construct and commission the project.
Intelligent microgrid technology can predict threats to the grid system from incoming storms — such as the devastating Hurricane Michael — or other disruptions, and then automatically switch the facility to DER use to weather the storm.
This can be vital at major ports — where even a relatively short power outage can be devastating — including Long Beach, the nation’s second busiest. It’s a gateway for trans-Pacific trade, with 140 shipping lines connecting it to 217 seaports, handling $194 billion in trade annually.
"Our terminals are increasingly using electric equipment to move cargo, and we will need to build more energy resiliency into these operations," Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in the press release. "This project will help us learn more about how to keep the power, and cargo, flowing."