Cuyahoga County Microgrid

microgrid panels

Power grids across the country are aging. Severe weather and other threats have the potential to leave entire regions without power for days.

Microgrids can provide reliable, clean, affordable energy with minimal interruption. Microgrid development will also play a key role in the recovery of our economy post-pandemic; this initiative promotes business, innovation and clean energy.

Armond Budish having a meeting

“The goal of a microgrid is to provide highly resilient power to businesses and commercial entities that need it. These microgrids would offer businesses the most reliable electric power in the world—providing power that has an up-time of 99.999 percent and the guarantee that, even if the main power grid goes down, those on the microgrid won’t lose power for more than five minutes in a year.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish

What is the County doing?

Cuyahoga County Utility (CCU)
Executive Budish proposed legislation to County Council in February 2021 that gives the county the authority to establish a public utility. In September 2021, County Council approved the legislation.

Read: Expansion of Microgrid Approach Throughout County Proposed by County Executive Armond Budish

The Department of Public Works will now operate a public utility and work to build out microgrids throughout the County. Cuyahoga County Utility (CCU) will provide local clean energy, high levels of resiliency, and affordable electricity for commercial customers.

The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works will be issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to seek bids from developer operators and investors. The selected developer operator would then:

  • Construct the generation and distribution facilities, with the support of the County
  • Sell energy to individual commercial customers in specific regions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a microgrid?
A microgrid utilizes local and secondary power sources that can generate electricity, heating and cooling, distribute energy and manage energy consumption all while separated from the larger energy grid.

Why is this important?
As the main grid ages, severe weather and cybersecurity become greater concerns. A microgrid can protect key data and electrical infrastructure. By using local renewable energy sources such as large-scale solar developments on landfills, Microgrids also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How do they work?
Microgrids ensure power is not lost when the main grid is offline. Microgrids can identify and manage issues such as voltage sags and surges to ensure consistent and resilient electricity delivery.

Will I be able to get microgrid electricity at my house?
The microgrids are initially intended for commercial use.