Miller Community Center - Solar Microgrid

Miller Community Center

Project Description

Seattle City Light is partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation to implement a microgrid project at Miller Community Center, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The project will include the installation of a battery energy storage system, solar panels and microgrid controls.

The microgrid will provide backup power storage for the community center during emergency events, such as a windstorm or unplanned power outage. When the electric grid is down, the microgrid will generate and provide power to the community center to keep the center's services and communications operational.

A $1.5 million grant from the state of Washington will provide a portion of the funds for the project. The City of Seattle is partnering with the University of Washington to perform analytics on the microgrid's community and utility benefits.


The microgrid will be installed at Miller Community center, located in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

What's Happening Now?

Project Update (April 2021): Crews are installing a new fence for the battery system. They will continue to install new wires and equipment to build out the microgrid. They are scheduled to complete construction in the 2nd quarter of 2021.

Crews use an excavator at Miller Community Center
Crews use an excavator to establish the foundation for the new microgrid equipment.

Crews at work at Miller Community Center
Construction crews assist with the microgrid installation at Miller Community Center.

Battery energy storage system being installed at Miller Community Center
Crews install the battery that will be used for the new microgrid system.

Solar panels installed at the Miller Community Center roof.
Solar panels were installed on the community center's roof.

Community Benefits

The project will empower a community to recover quickly from unplanned emergency events and gain technical knowledge on the installation and operation of a microgrid system. Analytics from the microgrid resiliency project will allow the City of Seattle to research and develop similar technologies.

Project Details

How will the project operate?
During normal operations, the solar panels will charge the batteries. When the solar panels are not generating, the batteries can back up the delivery of electricity from City Light's distribution grid. The microgrid will provide backup power storage for the community center during unplanned outages such as a windstorm.

How will the project be funded?
In August 2016, Governor Jay Inslee announced $12.6 million in Clean Energy Fund grants to five utilities in the state of Washington. Seattle City Light's microgrid resiliency project was chosen as one of the recipients for a state clean energy grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. A $1.5 million grant will provide a portion of the funds for the project. The additional $1.8 million in project costs will be funded by Seattle City Light.

Click here for more information regarding the Washington State Department of Commerce's Clean Energy Fund

Who did the City of Seattle select to work on the project?
The City of Seattle is working with several groups to learn how the microgrid will impact or benefit Seattle City Light's electrical system and customers. The project will allow the utility to gain valuable insights on what it takes to design, build and operate a microgrid. The findings from this project will also determine how Seattle Parks and Recreation and other city partners can incorporate innovative technologies like microgrids in their operations.

Owner's Engineer: DNV GL was hired for their microgrid expertise. They evaluated sites for the microgrid and will oversee the project through design, construction, commissioning and testing.

Analytics Team: The University of Washington will gather data and perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of the microgrid, community and system benefits.

Building Engineered Systems Contractor: Worley was selected to design, build, test and commission the microgrid.

  • Construction Start: January 2021
  • Estimated Completion: 2nd Quarter 2021

Bianca Smith
Project Manager
Seattle City Light
(206) 549-5062

Jacob Daley
Seattle Parks and Recreation
(206) 487-6516