The Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif., will build and demonstrate a $7.1 million “microgrid” to show the new technology’s effectiveness in providing a clean, reliable supply of electricity for critical operations.

With the help of a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, Calif., the port will install a solar carport, power storage systems and advanced controls at its security headquarters, the Joint Command and Control Center.

“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbor Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” says Tracy Egoscue, president of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

“Our terminals are increasingly using electric equipment to move cargo, and we will need to build more energy resiliency into these operations,” says Mario Cordero, executive director of Port of Long Beach. “This project will help us learn more about how to keep the power and cargo flowing.”

As part of the project, the port will compile and analyze 12 months of performance data, and make that information available to other California seaports. The goal of the grant is to accelerate development of microgrids and how they can improve participation in utilities’ demand response programs, where users agree to limit energy use during peak periods.

The project also includes a workforce development component that will offer training opportunities through Long Beach City College, Long Beach, Calif., and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Washington, D.C.

Schneider Electric, Andover, Mass., will design, construct and commission the Joint Command and Control Center microgrid. The project includes a solar carport at the port’s security center, a stationary storage system and a mobile storage system that can be dispatched around the port in lieu of diesel generators in case of outages.