Georgia Power, Georgia Tech dedicate microgrid project

Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO for Georgia Power, joins Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald and others at microgrid project ribbon cutting.

ATLANTA — Officials with Georgia Power and Georgia Tech have cut the ribbon on a project that will be used to evaluate how so-called “microgrids” can contribute to the overall electric grid.

A 1.4-megawatt microgrid project located in Midtown Atlanta’s Tech Square will serve that portion of Georgia Tech’s campus.

“The Tech Square Microgrid … will help us better understand microgrids to help service our customers,” said Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, who spoke at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.

“The Microgrid’s distributed energy resources are vital to enhancing grid resiliency and bringing sustainable energy solutions to Georgia’s communities.”

The project was approved by the state Public Service Commission in 2019.

The microgrid will help Georgia Power learn how smart energy management systems, such as the one installed at Tech Square’s CODA data center, can interact with the overall grid to optimize use of energy. The project also will serve as a teaching and learning opportunity for Georgia Tech professors and students.

“Georgia Tech is committed to … leading by example with our own practices,” Tech President Angel Cabrera said. “In our partnership with Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission, we will be developing and adopting some of the most advanced, efficient and responsible energy solutions available in the hope we can serve as an example for others.”

The microgrid includes fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator. It is also designed to accommodate microturbines, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers in the future.

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