The community of Red Feather Lakes is served electricity by one single transmission line. The threat of winter storms and other extreme weather, car accidents on the curvy roads, and wildfires like the recent Cameron Peak Fire all pose serious threats to the reliability of electricity for this small town.
The need to have dependable energy during a crisis is crucial for the town. And we’ve been working with the community and other partners to install a microgrid — a self-sufficient energy system — which can help serve this isolated area.
The battery portion of the microgrid was set to be installed earlier this year, but the Cameron Peak Fire pushed the timeline back as mandatory evacuations were issued for the Red Feather Lakes community in late September.
Now, we have continued the project and installed the battery portion of the microgrid in the community fire station. The battery will be tied to the system, completing the microgrid, in the spring of 2021.
Through the winter the battery will serve as dependable back-up energy when needed. Once the battery is connected to the system in the spring of 2021, it will be part of a true microgrid. Then power can be dispatched to other PVREA members, supporting the PVREA system and adding resiliency to the community of Red Feather Lakes.
“We are able to start learning what a microgrid does, what we can do with it and apply that knowledge to future projects. When costs and performance of batteries improve, we will be able to put microgrid technologies in other areas in our system,” said Jeff Wadsworth, President and CEO of PVREA.
Look for more announcements in the spring of 2021 as we continue progress on the microgrid for the Red Feather Lakes community.