UCR Engineers Installing Solar Microgrid at the Chemehuevi Community Center
UC Riverside engineers are leading a project to install a solar microgrid at the Community Center on the Chemehuevi reservation.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, together with a team of industry partners, have begun work to install a power system that integrates solar panels, battery storage, advanced data analytics, and smart energy management controls on the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe reservation near Lake Havasu, CA.
[ecko_quote source=”Glenn H. Lodge, Vice Chairman of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe”]The Community Center serves low-income families, and during power outages people rely on the facility to provide electricity and a place to sleep, shower, cook, and care for community members with medical needs. The micro grid will enable us to provide emergency shelter for our community when they need it the most[/ecko_quote]
The integrated system, known as a microgrid, is supported by a nearly $2.6 million grant from the California Energy Commission. It will be installed at the Chemehuevi Community Center, which is the tribe’s designated emergency response center, and will provide uninterrupted clean power to run the center as well as the adjacent tribal housing offices during a grid failure. The system will also lower energy costs and enable the tribe to implement year-round advanced energy management strategies. The system is scheduled to be deployed and commissioned by July 1.
“This project has the dual benefit of providing an environmentally friendly power system for the tribe while allowing researchers to study a system that could become a model for people in California and elsewhere,” said Alfredo Martinez-Morales, managing director of the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy (SC-RISE) at the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT).
Glenn H. Lodge, vice chairman of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, said the project will help alleviate problems caused by frequent energy blackouts, which are exacerbated by the hot desert climate, floods during times of rains, and the rural location of the reservation, which is served by a single transmission line connection to the grid.
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