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Valley Children's Energy Storage Project Gets $30M Federal Grant
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By Edward Smith
Published 6 months ago on
October 6, 2023

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As developers plan a microgrid to ensure energy security for Valley Children’s Hospital, the Department of Energy has granted the project $30 million.

Along with the expected $30 million from the DOE, the California Energy Commission granted $25 million to the project.

Madera’s vulnerable power system and underserved community caught the DOE’s attention as it seeks to lower the cost of long-duration energy storage, according to a news release.

“As we build our clean energy future, reliable energy storage systems will play a key role in protecting communities by providing dependable sources of electricity when and where it’s needed most, particularly in the aftermath of extreme weather events or natural disasters,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

The Children’s Hospital Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES) was one of 15 projects chosen for a piece of the $325 million fund.

Along with the expected $30 million from the DOE, the California Energy Commission granted $25 million to the project.

“The Department of Energy grant represents a transformative moment for Valley Children’s and for our communities, and places us at the forefront of creating safe, effective, and reliable power systems for hospitals here and around the world,” said Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak in a news release.

Microgrid Helps Ensure Medical Access Even in Extreme Weather

In recent years, increasing wildfires and flooding have threatened the Valley’s energy supply.

The project, announced in April, helps ensure patient care is never interrupted, the news release stated. When completed, it would be the largest renewable energy microgrid for a hospital in a country.

Irvine-based Faraday Microgrids is building the project. Phase one of the project would be completed by 2025.

Solar power and a 34.4-megawatt battery storage system would create clean and sustainable energy for the main hospital campus. Greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 50% by 2030 and eliminated by 2050, according to a news release.

Faraday Microgrids (not related to auto manufacturer Faraday Future) has built microgrids for Kaiser Permanente and SunMaid Growers, among others.

“The expansion of Valley Children’s existing microgrid plans represent a remarkable leap forward in terms of providing safe, effective, and reliable clean power systems to healthcare networks,” said David Bliss, pediatric surgeon and CEO of Faraday Microgrids.

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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