San Diego broke ground on the first of eight solar microgrid projects being installed at various municipal buildings around the city, including fire stations, police stations, and community centers. With these microgrids, the city hopes to reduce its carbon footprint, increase resiliency during power outages, and have all municipal buildings run entirely on renewable energy by 2035.
The projects will be a collaborative effort between San Diego and Shell New Energies, a subsidiary of Shell, who will develop, own, and operate the microgrids. The partnership is part of a 25-year deal between the city and Shell New Energies, which was signed in July 2021. The California Energy Commission has also assisted with the projects by providing $950,000 in grants.
Along with being cost-effective, the microgrids will also feature batteries that allow the sites to store excess solar energy and sell it back to the grid during peak hours. In total, by 2050, the city expects the projects to reduce its energy bill by $6 million.