Cuyahoga Establishes First County Division of Public Utilities in Ohio

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Division Would Allow County to Develop Electrical Microgrids for Reliable Electricity

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Today Cuyahoga County created a Division of Public Utilities, the first of its kind in the State of Ohio.

Conceived by County Executive Armond Budish and the County Department of Sustainability, the Division of Public Utilities will be a branch under the County Department of Public Works. This Division will allow for the development and implementation of electric microgrids, which will provide the most reliable electric power in the nation. And especially now when electric power is shut down around the country by hurricanes, wildfires, extreme heat, drought and floods, reliable electricity is especially important.

The Department of Public Works will issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to seek bids from developer/operators and investors who will construct the system, supported by the County. The developer/operators will construct the generation and distribution facilities and sell energy to individual, commercial, and industrial customers in specific geographic regions.

“The creation of the Division of Public Utilities will allow us to build innovative microgrids that will provide highly resilient power to businesses and commercial entities that need it,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “By providing power that has an up-time of 99.999 percent, we can guarantee that, even if the main power grid goes down, those on the microgrid won’t lose power for more than five minutes in a year. These microgrids should enable us to attract businesses to our region.”

A developer is expected to be chosen by next summer, with build-out anticipated to start in fall of 2022.

“Our country is seeing stronger and more violent storms causing large-scale power outages, which can cost entities millions of dollars,” said Sustainability Director Mike Foley. “Microgrids will provide locally generated clean electricity that will minimize utility downtime and provide for a more resilient and cleaner electric grid.”