As we established in Part I of our “Powering Your Business” series, the grid has many advantages—but it also has some disadvantages. It’s a beast to maintain and that means connecting to it can be expensive and time-consuming. Your business is then at risk of being subject to Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), which could leave you without power for extended periods of time. You’re also part of a large, carbon-emitting infrastructure, with very little control over your own energy destiny.
Fortunately, other options are available. Learn more about the benefits of microgrids, and how McKeever Energy & Electric, Inc., can help, below.
Gain Total Control Over Your Business’s Energy
Whether you desire to be an industry leader in green energy—or the main grid is located too far away from your operations—help is available! Microgrids are becoming an accessible way to decentralize, decarbonize, and democratize electricity systems around the world, including right here in Humboldt County. The trend towards microgrids and renewable energy is being driven from the bottom up, with business owners jumping at the opportunity to gain full control over their own power infrastructure.
What is a Microgrid?
A microgrid, in energy-world lingo, is a flexible architecture designed for deploying distributed energy resources (DERs). In a typical energy system, the flow of electricity begins at generation (through hydro, gas, solar, or other means) and flows through the transmission pathway into storage or aggregation solutions, where it is then distributed to the end consumer. Distributed energy resources provide an alternative means of generation delivered straight to the consumer: you and your business.
Distributed energy resources (DERs) are incredibly beneficial. They’re small, which means they can be easily scaled to your specific needs. They’re also highly resilient against environmental threats, such as wildfires. And since you’re no longer relying solely on the main grid, the impact of PSPS is significantly reduced. A microgrid may even make your business carbon neutral, or potentially even carbon negative!
See It In Action!
Curious to see what a microgrid looks like in practice? At McKeever Energy & Electric, Inc., we love the example set by the Stone Edge Farm microgrid in Sonoma County, CA. They build a microgrid with solar, two kinds of battery storage (Tesla Powerpack and SimpliPHi), and a Heila controller that distributes power on demand to different areas of the farm.
The Stone Edge Farm also produces hydrogen with their excess solar energy. This allows them to store energy long-term as a gas (like propane) as well as power their zero-emission farm vehicles. And they have so much leftover, they even sell it to their neighbors. To top it all off, they also recycle their water. Talk about nature, perfected!
Led by our founder and president, Nate McKeever, the team at McKeever Energy is incredibly passionate about environmental sustainability and the incredible impact of renewable energy. We’re constantly inspired by industry leaders, such as the team at Stone Edge Farm, who are taking huge strides in the realm of environmental stewardship.
What We’re Up To
The McKeever Energy team is currently on-site building the Redwood Coast Airport Renewable Energy Microgrid. The solar array in this microgrid will generate renewable power for the grid, as well as the battery pack. When the grid power goes out in Humboldt, the airport and Coast Guard station will continue to receive electricity from the microgrid. This allows them to continue their life-saving emergency operations.
The Redwood Coast Airport is the first-ever multi-customer microgrid, and we’re proud—and humbled—to be working with Schatz Energy Resource Center; the Redwood Coast Energy Authority; Pacific Gas & Electric; Tesla, Inc.; and many more partners on this project. We’re also teaming up with our network of incredibly smart partners to design a microgrid that will power 52 greenhouses for an organic farm in Maple Creek!
Having second thoughts because your business isn’t as big as the Redwood Coast Airport? Not a problem! Remember: microgrids are entirely scalable to your needs, which means business owners of all sizes can enjoy the unique benefits of a microgrid. If you’re inspired to become part of the microgrid energy future, let’s talk.