Microgrid to power Coast Guard’s Petaluma Training Center

PETALUMA, CA – Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma held a groundbreaking ceremony for a renewable energy microgrid on Friday.

After the facility, the largest U.S. Coast Guard training facility on the West Coast, was without power for five days during the 2019 Kincade Fire, the microgrid’s main purpose is to improve the resilience of TRACEN Petaluma.

“This project builds our resilience to better withstand significant weather events that threaten lives and livelihoods, as well as displace individuals, families and entire communities,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, the Commander of the Coast Guard. “This is an important step in ensuring the Coast Guard remains ready, anytime, anywhere.”

The objective of the project is to enable TRACEN Petaluma to be able to produce its own energy for up to 10 days of independent and complete operations thanks to the installation of 5 megawatts of photovoltaic solar panels and 11.6 megawatt hours of battery storage. , according to a press release from the US Coast Guard 11th District Pacific Southwest.

“This energy performance contract provides clean power generation and operational resilience to include a micro-grid component and is the first to be designed with the primary objective of achieving full and sustained ‘off-grid’ capacity in minutes after a loss of power,” said Cmdt. Todd Wimmer, chief engineer of TRACEN Petaluma. “He provides personnel security and mission security support to the Petaluma Training Center; in addition, he helps increase infrastructure security and stability in the greater Petaluma/Sonoma area.”

The Coast Guard awarded a $48 million contract for the microgrid on September 29, 2021, which will be paid for with energy savings over a 23-year contract term. Construction should be completed within two years.

In addition to the resilience benefit for TRACEN, the microgrid is expected to result in annual savings of $1.2 million, 8.7 million kilowatt hours and 50.8 kgal of propane.

TRACEN Petaluma offers apprentice-level training for eight Coast Guard enlisted career areas and is home to the Chief Petty Officer Academy. It supports some 3,500 students per year, 360 permanent staff, and 500 married quarters residents – all encompassed within an 837-acre, 810,000-square-foot campus.

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