Firm selected to operate Cuyahoga County utility, build out microgrids

An article by Crain’s Cleveland Business shares that Cuyahoga County is one crucial step closer to realizing the goal of the outgoing administration to offer a modern electrical grid system providing resilient, non-interrupted power to some of the region’s commercial, industrial and manufacturing businesses. Compass Energy Platform has been selected to set up and operate the county’s public utility, which was created to build out a series of regional microgrids that use locally generated power from places such as a large solar array in Brooklyn.

According to Crain’s, Cuyahoga County has received a total of $1.8 million in federal funding for the utility creation and grid buildout, including $300,000 to design a microgrid district within the Aerozone Alliance, the 50-square-mile area that surrounds Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Aerozone Alliance executive director Hrishue Mahalaha is a vocal supporter of a microgrid in the district as a means to attract businesses to what he envisions as a bustling economic hub. “When you have assets like Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and NASA Glenn, you findnd that those areas become strong economic hubs for things like logistics, distribution, aviation, aeronautics, airspace, technology and advanced manufacturing because of the stickiness that enables those industries to prosper. Unfortunately, that is not the case in (all of) Northeast Ohio,” Mahalaha said.

He said the district’s goal is to “stack our infrastructure story. We already have relatively uncongested roadways, rail and airport, so when businesses are looking to expand, to relocate, to move, they see we have all of these important capabilities.”