Georgia Power announced, in collaboration with Georgia Tech, the opening of the 1.4 MW microgrid project in Tech Square at Spring and 5th streets in Metro Atlanta.
The Tech Square Microgrid, which was approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission in the company’s Integrated Resource Plan, is being used to evaluate how a microgrid can effectively integrate into and operate as part of the overall electrical grid.
“The Tech Square Microgrid is a proven innovative project that will help us better understand microgrids to help service our customers,” said Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO for Georgia Power. “It brings energy storage and data front and center for research.”
“The Microgrid’s distributed energy resources are vital to enhancing grid resiliency and bringing sustainable energy solutions to Georgia’s communities. Georgia Tech is one of the nation’s leading research institutions and has been an integral partner in allowing their students and teachers to learn how these systems will interact not only with our grid, but also with the CODA building on the Georgia Tech campus. It’s by collectively working together through projects like this that we will build a brighter energy future for our state.”
Microgrids are self-contained power systems co-located with the facilities they serve that include generation resources, storage systems and energy management systems.
Additionally, it will serve as a living laboratory for Georgia Tech professors and students who will use the asset to gather data on controllers, cybersecurity devices and energy economics.
The microgrid will provide Georgia Power with insight on how smart energy management systems, such as the one installed at the CODA data center, can interact with the grid to achieve optimal utilization of energy. In addition, it will also provide teaching and learning opportunities for Georgia Tech professors and students.
“Georgia Tech is committed to addressing the most consequential challenges of our time,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “That involves advancing science and technology, developing leaders who can create and deploy new solutions, and leading by example with our own practices.”
“This microgrid is a great illustration of the latter. In our partnership with Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission, we will be developing and adopting some of the most advanced, efficient, and responsible energy solutions available in the hope we can serve as an example for others.”
The installation includes fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator, and it is adaptive to new and additional distributed energy resources.
It is designed to also accommodate microturbines, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers in the future.
All components will be placed on a platform and obscured from view with seven-foot-high fencing and gate access along Williams Street in Atlanta.
The fencing will have a mural designed and commissioned by Atlanta-based artist Georgia F. Baker III to be finished later this year.