Pos-En commits to design, develop and implement low-carbon, low operating cost clean energy systems that will deliver reliable and continuous power supply to critical City of Boulder infrastructural assets for day-to-day operation, as well as when the electric grid is disrupted by natural disasters or other crises. For each site Pos-En will design an energy system that combines solar panels, battery storage, back-up generation, controls, and energy efficiency upgrades to enable operation for extended periods of time without grid power.
Selected sites include: a joint city/county emergency operations and data management center; a public transportation fleet and dispatch center; two of the three primary community emergency sheltering sites (which have a combined capacity to provide shelter and access to electricity for 400 people during an emergency event); and the citys wildfire command and wildfire evacuation staging center. These initial sites are intended to serve as replicable templates for resilient building and infrastructure for buildings across the community of Boulder, along with other cities and communities.
Pos-Ens infrastructure design deploys a whole systems approach to clean energy, maximizing cost-effectiveness, reliability, renewable energy capacity, and resilience. This commitment also illustrates principles and practices that can be readily replicated and applied to both private sector and household systems throughout the community. This approach aims to significantly reduce the energy vulnerability of the larger community, including both the risk of electricity disruption shocks, and the ongoing vulnerability to erratic and often rapidly escalating energy costs.
As a private sector clean energy development company, the team at Pos-En has nearly a decade of experience in developing resilient and cost effective clean energy systems. In addition, this commitment draws upon the concepts and strategies introduced in Pos-Ens 2010 CGI Commitment to Action Global Energy Model (GEM).
For this commitment, Pos-En will contribute engineering resources, access to technology and partner services, financing, and program management. Schneider Electric will scope the various sites for technological feasibility. NREL will provide resilient energy systems design and testing evaluation. 100 Resilient Cities will coordinate access to additional technical assistance through its Platform Partners network. The City of Boulder will provide project development, partner coordination, and overall project management support.
Phase IPilot Installation
Deliverable: resilient energy system implementation (by Q4 2017).
As energy system solutions architects, Pos-En will lead the technical efforts to design and monitor installation of a pilot resilience project at a prominent location in the City of Boulder. This initial installation will provide shelter for approximately 200 people for up to two weeks without grid power, including lighting, heating, cooling, water purification, and cooking needs. During normal operation, this retrofit will have 80% GHG emissions reduction, levelized cost of energy (LCOE) competitive electricity rates, and a 50% increase in energy efficiency.
The project will be designed to achieve multiple objectives at each site including: enabling extended operations of municipal utility services and basic human needs (lighting, heating, cooling, water purification, cooking, shelter) during a grid disruption; significantly reducing both emissions and energy costs during normal operations; creating a template for scaling implementation across a network of resilience safe haven sites throughout the community; and providing demonstration and educational opportunities that increase the clean energy and resilience literacy within the community.
Phase IIBusiness Model Refinement
Deliverable: integration plan for interconnected network of resilient energy systems (Q1 2018).
Using the experience developed through this project, Pos-En will help the city of Boulder develop a business plan for scaling and replicating this system to a network of sites across the city. By maximizing the use of these assets to reduce costs and increase system flexibility during normal operations, Pos-En is confident it can create a business case and plan that will lead to market-driven implementation of these systems in both Boulder and other communities.
Phase IIICommunity Development
Deliverable: install remaining four resilient energy systems throughout Boulder (Q4 2018)
These installations will increase both the visibility and credibility of renewable energy assets to serve as a secure source of power for city infrastructure. These installations will function as a prominent part of a larger community-wide solar adoption campaign that has set the goal to more than double solar adoption in the city of Boulder in the next five years. The city is already in discussions with local solar companies about the potential to significantly expand the workforce in local energy systems installation and support.
Boulder, Colorado experienced catastrophic flooding in 2013, resulting in severe damage to energy and other municipal infrastructure. This flooding, along with an increase in recurring wildfires in recent years, has dramatically illustrated the need to secure the citys energy infrastructure and establish disaster safe havens powered by off-grid renewable energy technology in Boulder.
In response to these extreme weather and environmental events, and as a member of 100 Resilient Cities, the City of Boulder is actively developing and implementing a roadmap to resilience. Boulder is preparing to be better equipped to respond to adverse events and better able to deliver essential services to all citizens in both good and bad times.
Additionally, Boulders city government actively participated in the UNFCCCs 2015 Conference of the Parties in Paris (COP21). Like many cities, Boulder has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and has realized that in order to achieve its ambitious goals, it must move beyond its previous focus on energy efficiency. Boulder is also becoming increasingly aware that its existing fossil-fuel based energy systems have significant negative impacts including: diminished local environmental quality, economic disinvestment, and substantial energy security risks.
Therefore, Boulder has identified building clean and resilient energy capacity as one of its core priorities. This priority is now reflected in the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities sponsored strategy, the citys draft Comprehensive Plan, and is a core goal in the citys electric utility formation plan. This priority is also central to a U.S. Department of Energy Resilient Electricity Delivery Infrastructure grant, which the city is currently implementing.
Boulder would like to implement an integrated set of critical energy resilience projects that can both secure ongoing delivery of critical energy services for the community, and provide the foundational elements of a renewable energy-based distributed energy system that supports the citys 80% emissions reduction goals. This integration of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience strategies could serve as a replicable approach for other cities facing climate change-related resource allocation tradeoffs.