PECO Shuts Down Plans for Gas, Solar Microgrid for Concordville

 landfill in Delaware County,
Photo of a former landfill in Delaware County, the proposed site for a solar microgrid, courtesy of Microgrid Energy Partners of Great Valley.

Plans for a natural gas- and solar-powered microgrid to back up portions of Concordville during power outages just went dark.

Yielding to customer opposition, PECO shut down the $35 million effort and will look to go about it in a different way, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Andrew Maykuth.

The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate warned that the project raised “significant legal and policy questions.” For example, it resurrected a power-generation practice that PECO was forced out of by law in 1996, and sought to spread rate increases across all its 1.6 million customers while limiting benefits to just the outage-prone areas.

According to the article, those areas include the Concord Township Municipal Complex, a fire station, a sewage-treatment plant, a retirement community, two medical facilities, two motels, and two shopping centers.

PECO will now take the idea for 10.5 megawatts from natural gas and solar generators with 200 kilowatts of battery storage back to the drawing board, and brainstorm with stakeholders.

“The collaborative process will allow us to work together to determine the best opportunities for microgrid application across the PECO service territory,” spokesman Ben Armstrong said. “This will allow PECO to more fully understand the concerns some stakeholders have raised.”

Read more about the project’s withdrawal in the Philadelphia Inquirer here, and check out previous PECO coverage on DELCO Today here.

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