Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge
Concentric Power has struck a deal to build a 35-MW microgrid project in Gonzales, California that will operate under an unusual wholesale power agreement that involves a municipal utility, a local electric authority and retail customers.
Unveiled yesterday, the $70 million microgrid is an economic development play to help attract businesses to the Gonzales Agricultural Industrial Business Park in Salinas Valley. Access to reliable power is one of the factors delaying full buildout of the park, which is now at about one-third capacity, according to Brian Curtis, founder and CEO of Concentric Power.
Concentric announced the project after signing a 30-year energy services agreement to deliver wholesale electric power via the microgrid to customers in and around the industrial park, which houses some of the country’s largest fresh vegetable and wine producers. Concentric will develop, design, build, operate and maintain the microgrid assets.
Expected to be completed in little over a year, the microgrid will use solar and energy storage with natural gas in a supporting role; specifically, 14.5 MW-AC of solar, 10 MW/27.5 MWh of battery energy storage, 10 MW of flexible thermal generation and a Concentric microgrid controller.
Concentric also will build distribution infrastructure and a substation that ties into a high voltage line. The privately owned substation will allow the microgrid to sell energy and capacity to the California grid.