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PG&E Launches Microgrid Incentive Program

PG&E contractors begin project to bring power to downtown Groveland during outages. Photo: Union Democrat, February 24, 2021

Following a public information meeting at the Groveland Resilience Center on October 9, the Yosemite Hwy 120 Chamber of Commerce has received a response to our inquiry about the action plan and timeline for repurposing the downtown Microgrid into a useful resource during sustained power outages.

The email from Michael S. Gaffney, Division Operations Specialist, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Central Valley Region/ Yosemite Division stated the following and attached a PG&E press release dated October 11, 2023.

"The “Temporary Distribution Microgrid” we installed in Groveland is intended for PSPS mitigation however, we are looking into a “Permanent Microgrid” solution that would provide EPSS mitigation as well.

Our Local Government Affairs representative is working with Tuolumne County OES to submit a grant through the new Microgrid Incentive Program we launched earlier this month."

The Microgrid Incentive Program (MIP) is a new, statewide $200 million competitive grant program which will fund clean-energy community microgrids in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. The California Public Utilities Commission authorized and approved the new program, allocating $79.2 million in project funding for PG&E, $83.3 million for Southern California Edison, and $17.5 million for San Diego Gas and Electric. Projects selected under the MIP can receive up to $15 million in award funding each for the design and development of a multi-customer, front-of-the-meter community microgrid.

A community microgrid is a group of customers and distributed energy resources – such as a

solar array and battery -- within clearly defined electrical boundaries with the ability to disconnect, operate independently from, and reconnect to the grid – a capability also known as “islanding.”

The Yosemite Chamber has reached out to Dore Bietz, director of Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services, to offer help in applying for MIP funds to repurpose Groveland's downtown microgrid.

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