New microgrid to help Eugene supply during bad weather


In the US state of Oregon, Eugene Water & Electric Board has installed a 500KW/1000KWh battery energy storage system at the Howard Elementary School.

The battery storage system was provided by NEC Energy Solutions to reduce energy costs and ensure resiliency for the school, providing extra hours of power during times of shutdown, such as during inclement weather events.

The system will be owned and operated by the utility as part of long-term resiliency planning efforts to establish community points of water distribution around the city of Eugene to be used by its customers during restoration following a large-scale disaster.

The utility has installed a well at the Howard Elementary School in partnership with the school district.

When supplied by the battery energy storage system and a local solar system, this well will provide local access to fresh, potable drinking water to customers during an extended outage.

“We are delighted to partner with NEC Energy Solutions, the Eugene Water & Electric Board, the Eugene School District 4J and Howard Elementary School to deliver this important battery energy storage installation,” said Kirk Neubauer, Project Manager, Worley.

“This is a great example of the community coming together to leverage the benefits of energy storage for all parties, especially the citizens of Eugene,” said Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions. “From saving on energy costs, to ensuring the power stays on and that customers of the Eugene Water & Electric Board have access to fresh water, this project shows the value of proper planning, design and innovation that NEC’s energy storage solutions provide.”

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.