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Microgrid to bolster resilience at Port of Long Beach

As well as ensuring business continuity, the microgrid will help achieve the port’s goal of becoming a zero-emission operation

Port of Long Beach handles more than $194 billion in cargo per year
Port of Long Beach handles more than $194 billion in cargo per year

Schneider Electric has been awarded a $5.2m contract to design, engineer and build a new microgrid that will enable critical energy resilience at the Port of Long Beach in California.


The company will create a microgrid technology demonstration which will include an integrated system of distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrid controls. This will enable added resilience via long-term islanding at the port’s critical response facility, the joint command and control centre (JCCC), which functions as the port’s hub for security.


Schneider’s contract with the port – the second-busiest in the US – is part of a $7.1m project that is partially funded by a $5m grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC).


Sustainability and efficiency goals


According to Schneider, traditional back-up power sources for seaports – usually diesel-powered generators – are not in alignment with the long-term energy resilience, sustainability and efficiency goals of contemporary critical facilities.


Diesel generators have limited capacity for continuous, ongoing power during catastrophic outages and do not enable sustainable energy usage. In addition to boosting critical facilities’ energy resilience and sustainability through islanding and distributed energy resources (DER) integration, microgrids can also help lower energy costs through renewable energy production and enable smart load management.


For the Port of Long Beach, which handles over $194bn in cargo per year, installation of a microgrid will bolster energy resilience and ensure business continuity at all of its marine terminals while helping achieve its goal of becoming a zero-emission operation.


To meet the port’s extensive resilience needs, Schneider said it will draw upon expertise that has previously supplied marine and shore power solutions to more than 2,700 global merchant marine sector clients.

“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbour Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach"

The project will also include installation of a 300-kilowatt (kW) array photovoltaic (PV) system for energy production, integration of a 250 kW microgrid-extending mobile battery energy, a 500 kW Diesel Generator and the installation of additional microgrid controls to allow demand response, peak shaving, and islanded operations for energy resilience.


As part of the project, energy control centre will also leverage 330 kW and 670 kilowatt per hour (kWh) stationary battery energy storage.


“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbour Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” said Tracy Egoscue, president, Long Beach Board of Harbour Commissioners. “We welcome this microgrid technology demonstration in Long Beach.”


Analysing performance data


Over the course of the microgrid installation, Schneider will work with the Port of Long Beach to compile and analyse 12 months of performance data to ensure the microgrid is effectively helping the port meet its energy resilience goals.


It will also work with Long Beach City College and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to strengthen local workforce development and training initiatives, in addition to providing paid, on-the-job training to apprentices during construction.


“Across all industries and public entities, there is increasing demand to bolster energy resilience to support business continuity at critical facilities. The plans of the Port of Long Beach illustrate the foresight required to augment ongoing electrification efforts with resilience,” added Mark Feasel, vice president, smart Grid and microgrid, Schneider Electric.


“This new microgrid will leverage advanced controls to enhance resilience, and increase safety and security for critical infrastructure at the port.”


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