Update on the Century City Microgrid Project

The Century City Microgrid (CCMG) Project is a self-contained microgrid pilot project that will be powered by combined heat and power, natural gas generation, solar PV systems, energy storage systems, and other source of distribute energy generation, designed to demonstrate the design and operation of a multi-phase, multi-loop microgrid system. The system would be located in the Century City Business Park, a brownfield redevelopment site in the City of Milwaukee. The CCMG Project will provide highly innovative electrical energy infrastructure and will be used by the City of Milwaukee to attract high-value tenants, technology investment, and employment.

As identified in a recent White Paper from M-WERC on the Evolving Role of Distributed Energy, Energy Storage, and Microgrids, distributed generation is playing an increasingly important role. Part of evolving distribution grids, Microgrids is providing an effective way of integrating clean, non-renewable, and renewable distributed generation into the existing centralized power system. Here is a summary of work on the CCMG Project to date:

Century City Microgrid Project – Phase I participants:

  • Economic Analysis and Feasibility Study
  • Formed Project Team in summer 2015
  • Project work will be completed in mid- 2018
  • Presentations summer 2018 for next Phase

Century City Microgrid Project – Request For Information:

  • M-WERC issued RFI in late 2017 to determine which organizations are interested in participating in Phase II of the project – Design and Implementation
  • Sixteen organizations responded to the RFI
  • Meeting to review results of RFI responses will take place on May 30th

Unique Aspects of this Microgrid Project:

  • Multi-phase, four-loop microgrid for high energy advanced manufacturing with test sites for developing electrical equipment
  • Multiple microgrid loops with automation test networks; plug and play renewables integration
  • Integrated thermal, water, electrical storage networks; expansion for future waste to energy
  • Seamless Integration of campus into adjacent industrial, commercial, and neighborhood grids

Phase I of the project is wrapping up, and will provide a better understanding of how to evaluate the performance of the overall microgrid system and microgrid controller and distributed technolo­gies in integrated and islanded modes. It will also provide a thorough understanding of how to quan­tify the operational values, performance issues and economic benefits of having a coordinated central control system with distributed resources in a micro­grid configuration.

The CCMG RFI will identify organizations that wish to participate in the second phase of the project which will begin in the second half of 2018. Phase II of the CCMG Project feasibility study will cover topics such as technology deployment, demonstration, and performance evaluations.

A key objective of this project is to evaluate costs and benefits of microgrid projects. The approach is to ap­ply available microgrid analysis tools to arrangements, designs, and tradeoffs of economic options. The goal of the project is to produce a scalable, com­mercialization-ready microgrid deployment concept that includes a microgrid control system and uses a multi-lay­ered distributed control architecture.

Public benefits include the development of better meth­ods to conduct microgrid assessments and feasibility studies for resiliency improvements, the potential ad­dition of distributed energy resources and energy storage systems to the microgrid project site, and a study of load management and energy efficiency benefits and costs. An integrated and optimal approach to microgrid development and deployment is expected to provide additional options for the use of energy resources and a better understanding of the environmental impact of distributed generation.

Overall Benefits of the CCMG Project:

  1. Demonstration of Distributed Energy, Energy Storage, and Microgrid technologies to support growth and exploration of these technologies consistent with the M-WERC goal of growing technologies in the Energy, Power, and Controls sector.
  2. Assist the City of Milwaukee in creating an innovative, sustainable benefits that can be used to attract industry, commercial, residential and academic investment to this isolated and challenged area in the City of Milwaukee.
  3. Will be a showcase development project for companies in the Energy, Power, and Controls sector -- one of the key economic development clusters in the State of Wisconsin.
  4. Local economic development benefits resulting from the attraction of development to the 30th Street Industrial Corridor area of Milwaukee to attract light industrial facilities to the Century City business park.

For more information, contact M-WERC at CCMGproject@m-werc.org.