In California, where there are more reported power outages per year than any other state, the importance of energy reliability is paramount. Silicon Valley-based Santa Clara University, which serves 8,000 students, is a notable example of an institution using Honeywell expertise and technology to keep lights on, even in the face of a natural disaster.
With Honeywell’s help, the university is building a microgrid security net that, in the event of a catastrophe like an earthquake, will automatically disconnect the 106-acre campus from the utility grid and tap into onsite generation sources to keep the school powered. When complete, the university will be one of the first higher-ed institutions in the country with the ability to create an energy island.
The microgrid will not only mitigate serious financial risks for Santa Clara, but it will also make the university a neighborhood safe harbor in the event of a catastrophe. The university witnessed the potential impact when peer schools were offline for months after Hurricane Katrina, a situation it is looking and taking steps to avoid.
Fast Company discussed this topic in The Future Of The Grid Is Local And Distributed, And Universities Are Already Building It on May 6, 2014.