US utility Pepco filed a proposal with the Maryland Public Service Commission to construct two microgrids.According to a local publication, the development of the microgrids is expected to costs $44.2 million. Pepco will use the microgrids to improve the reliability of grid network during normal days and provide consumers with electricity during outages on the main grid.
The 13.6MW microgrid, which Pepco is planning to develop in Largo, will integrate solar generation with a gas-fired generation system and 1.8MW of battery energy storage system to provide electricity to some 19 facilities.
For the second microgrid, 6.8MW of distributed generation and 1.6MW of energy storage capacity will be integrated to provide energy to some 13 facilities and 220,000 residential homes.
Once completed, Pepco says the microgrids will help save up to $10 million in potential costs to consumers by providing them with power during outages.
The development of the microgrids will allow the utility to delay the construction of a substation requiring investments of up to $14 million, from June 2022 to June 2024.
In addition, the project will enable Pepco to learn how distributed energy resources can be used to sustain the reliability of the main grid. [Ameren successfully islands Illinois microgrid in pilot project].
The filed proposal is expected to be approved by June 2018.
Pepco and consumer engagement
The news follows Pepco's launch of an online news portal in late July. The utility will use the portal to increase communication and improve engagement with its customers in the city of Washington DC and to surrounding communities in Maryland.
In a press statement, the energy provider said its online news hub, The Source, will help the public to learn how Pepco and its sister companies, Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power, are contributing towards the development of economies in areas they operate in.
The Source will feature videos, articles, blog posts and infographics highlighting measures being implemented by the three utilities to improve the reliability of grid networks and customer services.
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