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Cuyahoga County Microgrid

Armond Budish in Meeting at table“The implications of a microgrid are huge. If the main electric grid comes down, businesses could be shut down for hours, days or even weeks—resulting in catastrophic costs. This microgrid will offer businesses 99.999 percent reliability and the guarantee that they would not suffer downtime any longer than five minutes per year. This is an exciting venture that will further our goal of being one of the most reliable, resilient and sustainable counties in the country.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish

What is It?

A microgrid is a secondary power source that can generate electricity, heating and cooling, distribute energy and manage energy consumption using “smart” technology. The goal of the microgrid is to provide highly resilient power to businesses and commercial entities that need it. This microgrid will cover Downtown Cleveland, making it the first district-wide system in the country. 

Why is This Important?

As the main grid ages, storms become more powerful and damaging, and threats of cybersecurity become more prevalent, greater needs exist to protect key data and electrical infrastructure. Microgrids provide a reliable energy source, as they ensure power is not lost when the main grid is offline. Controller and communications architecture of microgrids can identify and manage power variability issues such as voltage sags and surges to ensure the delivery of qualitatively consistent electricity. The microgrid will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions being released into our region while also creating a more resilient delivery of electricity.


What is Next?

Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power and the Cleveland Foundation jointly issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for developers interested in constructing a microgrid in Downtown Cleveland. The goal is to choose a developer by April 2020 and build out is expected to take a few years.

Parties interested in the RFQ can visit http://sustainability.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Microgrid.aspx.

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