Innovative Microgrid Unveiled in Northern Colorado
Regular readers of this newsletter may remember the September 2020 edition that reported Fort Collins-based electric cooperative Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association was beginning work with community partners in Red Feather Lakes to build a microgrid.
Well, the new microgrid was officially unveiled earlier this month on October 7.
It consists of three main parts: a 140-kilowatt/446-kilowatt-hour Tesla Powerpack battery, a solar photovoltaic array and a 130-KW propane generator. Working together, these three assets meet the definition of a microgrid, as defined by the Department of Energy: A group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources that act as a single, controllable entity with respect to the electric grid.
Red Feather Lakes is vulnerable to wildfires, high winds, winter storms and car accidents on its winding mountain roads — all of which can take out a power line and cause extended outages. The microgrid is expected be able to provide the community up to 8 hours of electricity when other parts of the grid are unavailable.
The microgrid serves Red Feather Lakes community members, the library, a post office, local businesses and more. Community members and critical services such as fire response, EMS and telecommunications will experience better energy management and increased resiliency and reliability thanks to this innovative project.
Coming together with the small, isolated mountain community, Poudre Valley REA is proud of this community-focused initiative made possible with support from its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, and other national partners.