Tesla Megapacks keep airport and US Coast Guard station powered during natural disasters


A Tesla Megapack-powered microgrid in Northern California has helped keep an airport and US Coast Guard station, described as a lifeline for the region, powered during natural disasters.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes and winter storms can cause power outages, leaving communities without access to essential services. In the event of such occurrences, it is important to have backup power systems in place to ensure continuity of operations. This is exactly what the clean energy microgrid at the Arcata Airport and the US Coast Guard Station in Humboldt County, California, has done.

The microgrid consists of a 2.2 MW solar array system and a 2.3 MW/9 MWh energy storage system that is made of three Tesla Megapacks.

Megapack is quickly becoming the go-to energy storage solution for large-scale energy storage projects.

As we recently reported, Tesla has deployed a record 6.5 GWh of energy storage capacity last year – a new record primarily thanks to a ramp-up in Megapacks.

The Megapack-powered microgrid in Humboldt County had a significant test late last year in the immediate aftermath of the early morning magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered in Ferndale. It let thousands of PG&E customers in the Humboldt area go without power.

But the microgrid has kept its 19 customers online, including the Arcata-Eureka Airport and the adjacent US Coast Guard Air Base, which are critical to the region, especially in a natural disaster.

Dana Boudreau, director of infrastructure planning and operations, Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), commented:

RCEA is the local government owner-operator of the microgrid generation system and while we didn’t expect such rigorous real-world testing this winter, the system exceeded expectations. During a significant earthquake and multiple major storms, the microgrid reliably delivered power during grid outages so that our regional airport and coast guard could focus on their core missions. RCEA will continue efforts to prepare our region for future challenges and help our essential services to stay online when they are most needed.

According to RCEA, the Megapack-powered microgrid again proved itself useful in the last month as several usual winter storms hit Northern California.

The system islanded on several occasions including an eight-hour stretch on January 4.

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