Graduation Date

Summer 2023

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Peter M Alstone

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Arne E Jacobson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. William V Fisher

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Fire Station, Microgrid, Solar PV, Battery, Humboldt County, SGIP, IRA, ITC, Resiliency

Subject Categories

Environmental Systems


Microgrids are emerging as a promising solution to unreliable grid energy. Today, California is not only witnessing grid resiliency challenges from natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, floods and heatwaves, but it is also seeking to green the grid and bring more renewables online. For example, Humboldt County, where this project is focused, has recently experienced an earthquake of 6.4M (on December 22nd, 2022), which shut down the regional grid for ~20 hours.

Microgrid adoption enables critical facilities to operate seamlessly. The Humboldt Bay Fire Station (HBFS) No.1 is one such example, where first responders work to protect citizens against emergencies, be it emergency medical services (EMS) operations or fire rescue or even helping in restoration of power lines. This study involves a techno-economic analysis of a microgrid design that could support efficient and seamless operations for the fire station as it serves the people of Humboldt County during emergencies.

A clean energy microgrid for the station aligns with the Humboldt County GHG emission target to reach net zero by 2030, and could provide resilient power to their general and critical loads during regular operations and emergencies. The recommended microgrid for the HBFS No. 1 facility includes a 70-kW photovoltaic (PV) array and a 90 kW/360 kWh battery energy storage system (BESS). The project cost ranges from $300k to $600k (depending upon the level of investment tax credits (ITC) the microgrid project would get). It provides 51-day resiliency in the best case and 28-hour resiliency in the worst case depending upon the weather condition. The system would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use at the station by over 98% annually.

Considering the potential availability of incentives and the value of resiliency (VoR), the microgrid project for HBFS No.1 demonstrates promising economic feasibility results. The next steps involve further evaluation of the project's financial viability, engaging with relevant stakeholders to secure funding, and proceeding with the detailed design and implementation phases of the microgrid.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location


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