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In California, a public power provider’s new headquarters serves as a test case for an innovative microgrid and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions


In California, a public power provider’s new headquarters serves as a test case for an innovative microgrid and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Sonoma Clean Power’s renovated HQ demonstrates that “a 24/7 zero-emissions future for buildings is achievable and practical,” the CEO says.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | October 5, 2022
SCP Headquarters ext 1
Image courtesy SCP

Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), the public power provider for California’s Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, recently unveiled its new all-electric headquarters. Billed as the world’s first GridOptimal building, the project features an innovative microgrid and intends to go beyond net zero energy standards by reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the state’s electric grid. 

Designed by EHDD Architecture, SCP’s new HQ is the initial pilot project for GridOptimal® Buildings Initiative, a joint program of the New Buildings Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council. The program aims to redefine how building design and operations can cost-effectively decarbonize the power grid and support a fully renewable electricity supply. 

In Santa Rosa, Calif., the two-year renovation turned a 1979 structure into a building that enables decarbonization of the grid. The all-electric building is powered partially by an on-site solar array, with the rest coming from SCP’s completely renewable and locally generated EverGreen service. The building’s lights, HVAC, water heating, and 23 electric car chargers all draw from the grid only when California has plenty of clean power available. Typically, the battery system charges up midday, when there is abundant solar power. In the evening, the building can use that energy or place it back onto the grid, reducing the reliance on gas power plants. 

“Our new headquarters is a ‘test case’ that’s working well, and we want people to know that this can be replicated — that clean electricity and decarbonization are attainable today. We also want people to understand that a 24/7 zero-emissions future for buildings is achievable and practical,” Geof Syphers, CEO, Sonoma Clean Power, said in a statement.

Design began in 2018, with construction completed in 2021. The microgrid installation was finished this year.

On the Building Team:
Owner and developer: Sonoma Clean Power
Design architect: EHDD Architecture
Architect of record: EHDD Architecture
MEP engineer: Guttmann & Blaevoet, with support from Point Energy Innovations
Structural engineer: ZFA Structural Engineers
General contractor: Midstate Construction
Construction manager: Sixth Dimension

SCP Headquarters ext 2
Courtesy SCP.
SCP Headquarters Int
Courtesy SCP.


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