CSUs working at the forefront of sustainable fuel

Our research was featured this week in a California State University article about faculty and students who are working to advance clean transportation:

A screenshot of the betting on batteries article

In related transportation news, we currently have an open position for a student research assistant to work on the development of an electric bus charging infrastructure optimization model.

You can also read about our readiness assessment for fuel cell vehicles in the California northern coast and upstate regions.

Open Position at the Schatz Center: Research Assistant or Engineering Technician

We are currently seeking one or more Research Assistants or Engineering Technicians to work at the Schatz Center in Arcata, California. Based on background skillsets, project needs, and interests, the selected applicant(s) will work in one or more of the following active research areas:

  • Offshore Wind Power: Examine the socioeconomic and policy dimensions of offshore wind power in Northern California by conducting stakeholder outreach and evaluating policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Off-Grid Solar for Rural Electrification – Product Performance Testing: Conduct laboratory and desk-based research, data analysis, and report writing/review to support deployment and quality assurance of off-grid solar electricity and/or solar water pumping systems in Africa and/or South Asia.
  • Off-Grid Solar for Rural Electrification – Analysis of Solar Product Users, Technology, & Impacts: Perform analysis of several nationally representative household energy surveys to characterize solar product users. Model environmental and welfare benefits/impacts of energy transitions. Develop and apply tools and approaches to assess the market-readiness of off-grid solar products.
  • Bioenergy: Analyze the performance of biomass conversion systems with physical testing and data analysis. Assess the quality of biomass and biochar products by conducting laboratory tests and physical assessments. Evaluate the market for biochar by designing and conducting interviews with biochar producers and consumers.
  • Renewable Energy Microgrids: Assist with microgrid and EV charging station design, permitting and regulatory processes. Assist with CAD drawing. Assist with evaluation of system benefits and business model. Construction observation.
  • Clean Transportation: Data processing and analysis of electric vehicle load projections. Perform optimization modeling to develop vehicle charging infrastructure. Review and apply equipment specifications. Contribute to translating analysis results to real world scenarios.

Application Deadline: All application materials must be received by 4 pm Pacific Time (US), Wednesday, December 19, 2018. A six-month commitment is required. Reappointment is desirable but contingent on funding, workload requirements, and performance.

Two technicians work with a solar module

Schatz engineering technicians measure the IV curve of a PV module

Technical Update: Redwood Coast Airport Renewable Energy Microgrid

Aerial image of coastline and town of McKinleyville, CA, with airport marked

Site of the Redwood Coast Airport microgrid, image courtesy of Google Earth

This fall, we have been working on project initiation tasks in advance of our technical team kickoff in early 2019. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. The contract with our major partner, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), is completed and approved by the RCEA Board of Directors. We also have completed contracts with TRC Solutions and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.
  2. We are in the late stages of procurement contracting for the 2 MW photovoltaic array and the 8 MWh battery energy storage system.
  3. We are working on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Schatz Center, RCEA, and the County of Humboldt to solidify the roles and responsibilities of each organization during the project implementation process.
  4. We are continuing to work through the final approval process with the Federal Aviation Administration to site the microgrid on airport property.
  5. RCEA will be utilizing a loan from US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to provide much of their cost share for the project. We are working with RCEA to complete the application process for the loan.
  6. We are ramping up our work with Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) project team in preparation for tariff development work, engineering design, and lab testing activities scheduled for 2019.

By March of 2019, we will have all of our contracts in place and will be underway with our electrical design, preparing an interconnection application with PG&E, working with TRC on business model evaluation and cybersecurity planning, and beginning tariff development work with RCEA and PG&E.

The Redwood Coast Airport Renewable Energy Microgrid is funded by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge and a $6 million match from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. During an energy outage, the microgrid’s controller will use the 2 MW photovoltaic array and 8 MWh battery to form an electrical island to maintain power for the airport and the adjoining U.S. Coast Guard Air Station. The solar electric system in the microgrid is expected to generate over 3,100 MWh of electricity per year, with most of the energy going to RCEA’s Community Choice Energy Customers through the CAISO wholesale market. A portion of that renewable electricity will be credited directly to the airport’s electricity meters, offsetting approximately 80% of the electrical usage of their two largest electricity accounts. This system will be the first multi-customer, front-of-the-meter microgrid in PG&E’s service territory. It will integrate a microgrid circuit owned by an investor-owned utility (PG&E) with generation owned by a local community choice aggregator (RCEA).

Schatz Energy Fall 2018 Newsletter

Page 1 of the Schatz Energy news

Our twice-annual print newsletter is now available to download. Features include:

  • The Schatz Center roof goes solar
  • A message from the Director
  • Project announcements and updates
  • Student research 2018
  • Lighting Global Quality Assurance updates
  • Northern CA coast offshore wind feasibility

Download the Fall 2018 Schatz Energy Newsletter