A recently installed smart microgrid system that generates solar energy for multiple applications through advanced technologies and energy storage was showcased by the Electrical Training Institute, City of Commerce, Calif., at a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 22. The event took place as part of the annual electrical industry barbeque, sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the IBEW and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Labor-Management Cooperation Committee, composed of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 11, and the Los Angeles County Chapter, NECA. 

Developed by PDE Total Energy Solutions, the system employs state-of-the-art technology. Energy captured by solar panels is stored in batteries through a specialized inverter designed for charging electric vehicles, serving as an emergency power source and reducing peak demand on the utility grid. 

"Until now, microgrids have mostly been designed for use by the military," said Don Davis, executive director of  ETI.  "This microgrid system is intended to show how both public and private sectors can better manage energy usage and implement an uninterruptable power supply for critical applications."

The microgrid's technologies support California's Renewable Portfolio Standards program, which requires that 33% of the state's electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2020.