Integration & Operation of a Microgrid at Santa Rita Jail
Santa Rita Jail is a 4,500 inmate facility located in Dublin CA, approximately 40 miles (65 km) east of San Francisco. Over the past decade, a series of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) installations and efficiency measures have been undertaken to transform the 3MW facility into a "Green Jail". These include a 1.2MW rated rooftop PV system installed in 2002, a 1MW molten carbonate fuel cell with CHP, and retrofits to lighting and HVAC systems to reduce peak loads. With the upcoming installation of a large-scale battery and fast static disconnect switch, Santa Rita Jail will become a true microgrid, with full CERTS Microgrid functionality. Consequently, the jail will be able to seamlessly disconnect from the grid and operate as an island in the event of a disturbance, reconnecting again once the disturbance has dissipated. The extent to which that jail is capable of islanding is principally dependent on the energy capacity of the battery—one focus of this investigation. Also presented here are overviews of the DER currently installed at the jail, as well as the value it provides by offsetting the purchase of electricity under the current Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) tariff.