Eaton selected for AEP Ohio microgrid project

Feb. 17, 2023
A new microgrid system will incorporate onsite solar and battery energy storage to keep clean water flowing during grid outages.

Intelligent power management company Eaton announced it was awarded a contract to help utility AEP Ohio enhance the resilience and sustainability of critical water infrastructure in Columbus at the Tussing Water Booster Station.

The project will establish the city’s first renewable energy microgrid and extend Columbus’ ability to deliver safe and clean water during extended electric grid outages. The microgrid project is fully commissioned and expected to be energized in Q1 2023.

“We’re proud to help AEP Ohio and the City of Columbus reach a major milestone in their journey to build a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future,” said Igor Stamenkovic, vice president and general manager for Eaton’s Electrical Engineering Services & Systems division. “This microgrid project is an important precedent that demonstrates how climate-friendly technologies can be applied to modernize critical infrastructure while improving people’s lives, the environment, and the bottom line.”

Partially funded through AEP Ohio’s Smart City program, the project will use microgrids to deliver more affordable, sustainable and resilient energy for critical infrastructure. The microgrid also supports the City of Columbus Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions by 45% and implement five microgrid pilot projects by 2030 to help achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

"Climate change is already impacting quality of life in central Ohio, and the challenges stemming from its very existence will only continue to grow more frequent and more common in the years ahead,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We have an obligation to strengthen the resiliency of our infrastructure and to meet these challenges head on. I am proud of the ways in which the City of Columbus is leading by example and embracing innovative solutions to ensure an equitable and prosperous future for every resident.”

The new microgrid at the Tussing Water Booster Station incorporates 100-kilowatts (kW) of onsite solar generation, 440-kilowatt hours (kWh) battery energy storage and Eaton’s intelligent microgrid controls to help offset energy costs and ensure residents receive safe drinking water. The microgrid system enables the city’s water tower to continue to operate in “island” mode during a grid outage to keep water flowing. It will also help AEP Ohio support sustainable demand response and balance the grid through intelligent voltage regulation.

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