Portland, Ore. — Today at Global Tech Jam, the City of Beaverton and Portland General Electric announced their collaboration on a microgrid composed of solar, battery storage and a backup generator that is connected with PGE’s grid. The new microgrid will support resilient and clean power at the Beaverton Public Safety Center, due to be operational in the spring of 2020.
The new center will house the Beaverton Police Department and Emergency Management program and provide essential community services, including private space for victim interviews, evidence storage areas and dedicated space for emergency operations. The seismically stable building is designed to remain fully operational and provide uninterrupted emergency services to the community after a major earthquake or disaster. The building is designed to maintain power, even if there are outages in the immediate vicinity, due to its connection with the PGE-supported microgrid that enables electricity to be generated onsite.
The solar panel and battery storage will also support year-round access to cleaner, more affordable power. Already a sustainability leader, the City of Beaverton recently signed on to Green Future Impact, a new solution from PGE that helps large commercial, municipal and industrial customers source 100% of their electricity from new wind or solar renewable energy facilities. More than 25% of all Beaverton residents currently participate in a voluntary Green Future program offered by PGE.
“Beaverton’s Public Safety Center is designed to meet the community’s needs for years to come,” said City of Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. “We’re proud to have this critical facility in our city and grateful for this partnership project with PGE, which further demonstrates our commitment to working together for a more sustainable and responsive community.”
“PGE and Beaverton are united by a common purpose — building resilient, affordable and clean energy communities,” said PGE President and CEO Maria Pope. “Mayor Doyle and The City of Beaverton are creating a valuable asset for the community, and it’s a privilege to work together to build an energy solution that meets their bold resiliency and sustainability goals.”
Leveraging the power of the integrated grid, PGE worked with the city to create an energy management solution that is flexible and delivers the safety and resiliency of a microgrid paired with year-round access to cleaner and more affordable power.
In addition to providing power during an emergency, the solar panels are expected to cover 40% of the building’s usage year-round. Excess solar energy will be stored in the battery for use when solar power isn’t available. During emergencies, the center will be able to give power from the solar panels and battery back to the grid. The city will apply its cost savings to the center’s operations budget, making more funds available to better serve Beaverton residents. The entire region will benefit as PGE integrates even more renewable energy resources into its power supply without compromising grid safety, security or reliability.
Together with the PGE Renewable Development Fund, which supports local renewable projects and is funded by PGE’s voluntary Green Future customers, PGE contributed more than $1.5 million in funding toward the project.
In 2016, Beaverton voters approved a bond measure for the Public Safety Center, which is being built on city-owned property near the corner of SW Hall and SW Allen Boulevards.
This project is an example of how PGE is using the integrated grid to partner with customers throughout its service area in new ways to meet their specific energy goals. PGE plans to use learnings from this project to identify new ways to increase the resiliency of the region. For example, PGE’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan identified the need for new non-emitting capacity to maintain reliability on the system. Among other possibilities, this could come in the form of battery storage, since batteries do not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses. This project will help PGE better understand how to meet these types of needs on the system while supporting local community resiliency.