Groundbreaking Ceremony for Microgrid in Humboldt County’s Blue Lake Rancheria

California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas and leaders from the Blue Lake Rancheria and Humboldt State University broke ground on Monday for a microgrid that will be a self-sustaining, renewable energy system.

The microgrid will enable the Rancheria —a Native American tribe and reservation that houses an American Red Cross Disaster Center—to produce and store renewable energy year-round and during emergencies. The microgrid will combine a solar photovoltaic array and battery storage with an existing biomass facility.

The project is a collaboration between the tribe and Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State. Funding for the project included a $5 million grant from the Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge program.

"This project shows the type of leadership and partnership that can advance California's climate and renewable energy goals, help transform our energy system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Commissioner Douglas. “This collaborative and innovative project will demonstrate how microgrid systems can increase energy resiliency and planning, a Humboldt County priority. Having a microgrid at Blue Lake Rancheria—an American Red Cross Disaster Center and federally recognized Native American Tribe—can increase public safety in emergency situations and the Rancheria will benefit from it year-round by having renewable energy to use and technology that can store it.”

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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