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PUD Breaks Ground on Cutting-Edge Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Technology Center

By Microgrid Resources Coalition posted 08-21-2018 00:00


Douglas Buell, The Arlington Times


For all that Congressman Rick Larsen’s father Dick knew about power as a 30-year worker with Snohomish County PUD, the terms “microgrid” or “energy storage” would have never entered the conversation, not even after he retired in 1995.

“That wasn’t what public utility districts were about,” said Rick at a groundbreaking for the Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Technology Center attended by dignitaries, staff and others Monday.

The focus in the 1960s was on running power underground. Today, the bright ideas are back above the surface and out in the sunlight to harness renewable energy and emerging power technologies for the next generation, which will be on display at the new PUD center.

“Northwestern Washington itself, our region, is a hub for renewable energy, and this center will build on that success,” Larsen said.

The $9.5 million project funded in part through a $3.5 million Washington Clean Energy Fund grant from the Department of Commerce includes a multi-acre segment that would cover the ground with a 500-kilowatt array of 1,800 solar panels tied in with a proposed community solar program, the state’s largest. The array will generate the hugest volume of solar energy in the PUD’s service area.

The complex on 25 acres east of the Arlington Airport at 17601 59th Ave. NE will also feature a vehicle-to-grid charging station for the utility’s electric fleet, battery storage, a substation and backup data center, and later an office and training center.

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Join IDEA and MRC in Baltimore October 29-31 for Microgrid 2.0 to hear more about this story in the Grid Resiliency and Renewable Energy Integration session.