Distributed energy production via renewables is what Deborah Acosta describes as the InDERnet and it will cause a huge disruption to the electrical distribution industry. Speaking at the Smart Gigabit Bay Area conference, Acosta, the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Leandro explains that the power of distributed energy is more than just renewable energy, as it is improving the resiliency of the grid caused by single-point failures.
The City of San Leandro is part of a public-private partnership, that includes OSIsoft, Geli, SriNergy, PDE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, ZipPower, PG&E and the California ISO, that recently won a $1.5M grant ($2M total after matching funds) from the California Energy Commission to prove out the InDERnet. This will include renewable energy production as well as storage to create a local grid that is dependent upon the national grid.
And the potential for local energy production is there, as Acosta points out that adding solar panels to just 89% of its industrial buildings would generate 25% of the electrical needs of the city. In a follow-up email, Acosta suggests that, “combined with PG&E’s growing portfolio of renewables, it is reasonable to project that within 5 years, 80-90% of San Leandro’s total energy needs could be met by renewables, generated locally and externally.”
Underlying the distributed energy grid is a signaling system that is enabled by LIT San Leandro. LIT San Leandro is a city-wide fiber backbone that provides gigabit speeds to businesses and industrial customers. LIT San Leandro is part of a public-private partnership spearheaded by OSIsoft founder Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy to ensure San Leandro had a competitive broadband infrastructure. Judging by their progress with the InDERnet initiative, Kennedy’s vision is being realized in ways that go beyond typical fiber connectivity and reach into the energy infrastructure.