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Cuyahoga County Utility Microgrid Development
Cuyahoga County Utility Microgrid Development

The Need

Striving to accelerate progress on climate, energy resiliency, and equity goals, created Cuyahoga Green Energy (CGE) in 2021 to be its own microgrid-focused electric distribution utility. CGE promises to revitalize the County’s existing industrial base, retain and attract innovation-driven manufacturing businesses, and create benefits for the broader electric grid and local communities.

In 2022, a team led by Go Sustainable Energy (Go), joined the County to provide technical consulting for the development and design of CGE and subsequent microgrids.

Our Approach

Go serves as a technical extension of the County’s staff. Since 2022, our role has evolved given the innovative and start-up nature of this initiative. Some highlights thus far are:

Establish Utility Organizational Structure

With big goals in mind and unique regulatory freedom granted to municipal utilities, the County needed to make the new utility model a reality. Go led efforts to establish the organizational structure and function of the new utility by:

  • Developing the utility’s organization, business, and contract models.

  • Investigating utility regulations and energy markets to inform design strategy.

  • Working with local municipalities and community partners on how best to leverage and support local resources.

Procure a Utility Operation Partner

As a start-up utility, CGE sought an external partner to bring operational capabilities and access to private capital to fund the buildout of both the utility and its microgrid projects. Go led the process to find a Utility Operation Partner by:

  • Engaging the market to obtain input from 36 separate entities on CGE’s structure and eventual role of the Utility Operator.

  • Using this input, we helped the County to formally define the role and scope of the Utility Operator.

  • Go drafted a Request for Qualifications and assisted the County in reviewing, interviewing, and grading applicants.

Support Microgrid Feasibility Studies and Design

Go worked with the County to identify the first three potential microgrid districts. The first is the “Aerozone”, which surrounds the Cleveland Airport. The next two are the cities of Brooklyn and Euclid, Ohio. Go’s team provided conceptual engineering support, advised on project viability, and performed preliminary project development tasks such as:

  • Creating schematic designs, mapping generation assets, customer loads, and grid infrastructure.

  • Performing electric tariff analysis and generating economic models.

  • Informing customer engagement in the selected districts.

The Results

CGE has developed its organizational structure and selected Compass Energy Platform as its Utility Operator. With these foundational pieces in place alongside access to capital and interested industrial and municipal customers, the utility is moving to the next phase of project development for the Aerozone, Brooklyn, and Euclid microgrid districts.

Go continues to serve as a technical owner’s advocate during the design process. We lead forward-looking efforts such as developing the utility’s long-term strategy, customer energy analysis, pursuing grant opportunities, and tracking emerging regulatory, policy and market trends.

Our Role

Cuyahoga County Utility Microgrid Development & Design Consultant

The Client

Cuyahoga County




Charles Schreier, PE

Milena Walwer

Peter Worley

Rohullah Arya

Tommy Tappel

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