A new microgrid was unveiled in Columbus, Ohio which is functioning off of a solar field near their water towers. The purpose of the microgrid is to keep a local water boosting station fully functional in the event of a power-outage. This has been a nearly 3 year-long project that cost nearly $1 million. The solar panels supply enough energy that could power 20 households and have backup batteries to keep it running in the nighttime. City officials chose this over the alternative options for sustainability efforts. Other batteries are diesel fueled and would spew carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. This is the first of its kind in Ohio, but there are plans for more to come. There is expected to be five projects in total with their locations still to be determined.
Alternative energy and power are gaining more momentum with more people wanting to use clean energy over fossil fuels and finding more ways to cut down on energy bills. Corporations are constantly looking for more ways to promote sustainability within their company. Even our federal government is finding innovative ways to combat climate change. This project is one part of the Columbus Climate Change Action Plan that the city has put forth to lower their carbon footprint.
Microgrids allow buildings to get electricity without having to rely on the utilities power supply by making its own. The most common way so far is with solar panels or a solar field. Solar fields have been installed in Pennsylvania as a way to power their EV charging stations without racking up a large electric bill from the utility company. There was also a new town in California that relies on solar and batteries as a way to power the homes.