Bayfield County Annex and Jail
On April 1st, 2021 the Wisconsin Public Service Commission announced $7 million in grants for 32 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Of that, $2.3 million were for 12 projects that incorporated battery storage, expanding the reliability of intermittent renewable resources like solar photovoltaic (PV) generation. It was the most invested in state history for this advanced technology. Two local projects were funded expanding the area’s resilience to operate in emergency situations.
Bayfield County was awarded $273,714 for an estimated $527,884 project. Working with Xcel Energy’s newly proposed Resiliency Service Pilot program the project would combine electric service of the county courthouse and jail complex into a single microgrid capable of operating with or without the electric grid. The project will add additional solar PV and battery storage capacity. The two-county 911 system will benefit from the increased resilience.
The system will be operated by an advanced “smart” controller that interfaces with the electric grid on a moment-by-moment basis. The controller will take into consideration variables such as weather conditions and forecasts, historic, current and predicted building electric use data, current and forecast solar generation, battery capacity and level of charge to optimize economic dispatch of energy. The system will be capable of “learning” to improve its forecasting capability.
Bayfield County partnered with Cheq Bay Renewables, Madison Solar Consulting and muGrid Analytics to develop the project.
The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was awarded $158,200 for an estimated $169,840 project. The project includes 45kW of solar PV on the Red Cliff Early Childhood Center and 38kW of battery storage creating a microgrid capable of operating with or without the grid. The site has been identified as an essential tribal facility with educational opportunities for the staff, families and community.
Red Cliff partnered with Solar CBI, a local consulting firm and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
Both projects are anticipated to be operational by the spring of 2022.