Setting the Standard: Trimark’s Microgrid Collaboration With Worley and Seattle City Light

Trimark recently partnered with Worley to implement a battery energy storage system (BESS) for Seattle City Light at the Miller Community Center in Seattle. The project is currently in the design phase, with construction beginning later this year.

Specifically, Trimark provided the monitoring and control systems for the BESS. This includes a microgrid controller (MGC) that will allow City Light to utilize the battery’s various grid resiliency functions—islanding, peak load shaving/demand reduction, and more. Trimark also compiled the control narrative for the MGC, which visually outlines how the system should be operated.

The First of Many

While the technological innovation inherent in this collaboration is remarkable in itself, the important takeaways extend far beyond that. First, this microgrid can be seen as a case study of sorts—or, a stepping stone. According to Worley’s press release announcing that they had been awarded the project, the City of Seattle will use the Community Center as an example of how they can leverage microgrids and related technologies to advance their own operations. In this “research project” capacity, the Community Center BESS/MGC will no doubt be invaluable to local utilities, as well as those nationwide.

Miller Community Center
With the addition of a BESS/microgrid system, Seattle’s Miller Community Center will both contribute to grid resiliency and support local residents in times of emergency.

More Than a Project

Beyond that, perhaps what makes this project most special is what it provides to the Seattle community: in the case of an emergency or other unscheduled outage (such as a natural disaster), the microgrid will keep the Community Center running. Because of this, the building is able to function as an evacuation “safe zone” or rally point during times of need, the result of the system’s ability to island itself from the local electrical grid and draw power from the BESS and photovoltaic panels.

A Rewarding Effort

Both of these unique aspects are considerable points of pride to us at Trimark. For one, the opportunity to work alongside Worley and Seattle City Light on a project that will surely usher forth more like it is exciting. Battery systems and MGCs, such as that which will service the Community Center, are becoming more popular among city governments every year. Thus, implementing something which may be seen as a standard-bearer for more BESS/MGC installations not only in the Seattle metropolitan area, but in other regions as well, is incredible.

On top of that, designing a system that will provide an invaluable service to the surrounding community always reaffirms to us the true importance of our work. The collaboration between Worley, Seattle City Light, and Trimark (as well as Puget Sound Solar and NEC) will ultimately help the people of Seattle. To us, that’s the definition of “worthwhile.”

Know what else is worthwhile? Keeping penguins and polar bears cold! Trimark is partnering with Worley on another microgrid project, this time for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. More details to follow.

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Photos courtesy of Worley.

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