Who owns a community microgrid?
Different elements of a community microgrid are owned by different entities. The Project Resources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and batteries, may be owned by:
- The community
- A Community Choice Aggregator (CCA)
- Another third party
PG&E, as the distribution system operator, will own any distribution upgrades and microgrid special facilities, such as the microgrid controller and grid isolation devices.
How is interconnection of the community microgrid project resource(s) handled?
Each Project Resource (e.g., solar pv system and battery) is required to interconnect to PG&E’s system. This occurs according to either Rule 21 or the Wholesale Distribution Tariff. The interconnection process is handled independently from the microgrid development process and can take significant time. However, investing time during the Consultation process to appropriately size your microgrid and specify its Project Resources will pay dividends. It can prevent rework and resubmittal of interconnection applications. When you are ready to get started, visit Getting Started Guide for Electric Generator Interconnections (PDF, 314 KB) and speak with your PG&E Resilience Coordinator.
May the owner of the project resource continue selling energy, even when the microgrid is islanded?
Yes. The microgrid’s Project Resources, such as a solar photovoltaic (pv) system and battery, can participate in wholesale markets for energy and related services both when the microgrid is operating in parallel with the larger grid (“blue sky mode”), and when disconnected from the larger grid (“island mode”). Speak to your interconnection liaison to understand your options.
Will I experience an outage when my meter switches to the microgrid battery? Will I know when I'm on microgrid mode?
It depends. Some microgrids are designed for “seamless” transition, during which no outage may be experienced. Other microgrid designs necessitate a “break before make” configuration, in which a brief outage may be experienced before the Project Resource energizes the microgrid.
How might electric vehicles be integrated into a community microgrid to support load balancing and bolster resiliency?
The CPUC has approved PG&E’s request for a Vehicle-to-Microgrid Public Safety Power Shutoff Microgrid Pilot (Microgrids Pilot). Over the coming years, this pilot will demonstrate customer adoption of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology for community resiliency, among other benefits. The project will include up to 200 EVs to charge and discharge in a multi-customer microgrid to support community resiliency. Please contact a PG&E Resilience Coordinator for more information.