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Department of Sustainability Issues Request for Qualifications for Microgrid and Public Utilities Partner

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Media contact(s):
Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521; mlmadigan@cuyahogacounty.us


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - The Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability released Friday a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking a partner from the private sector to serve as a microgrid and public utilities partner.

Through the County’s work to make Northeast Ohio’s energy grid more resilient, cleaner, and cost effective for residents, industries, and commercial businesses, the utility partner will help attract customers, provide financing, and build out and operate the County’s microgrid and public utility.

The utility partner will help take the Cuyahoga County Utility from a legal entity into a functional utility by supporting the establishment of the utility, operating the utility, and providing the start-up funds. The utility partner will also collaborate with microgrid/project developers to construct projects.

“Microgrids are a forward-thinking way to serve our community with reliable power in a time when weather and outages can be unpredictable,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “Twenty million people just lost power in Florida due to a hurricane. Our microgrid will keep the lights on here. We’ve had positive momentum on our County Utility and the release of this RFQ is the next step to making our county resilient and better prepared for anything.”

“Earlier this summer, we released a request for information for our County Utility, asking the energy industry for feedback on how to best structure our new utility, if the “market” will front dollars for project build-outs, and what kind of technology should be considered for microgrid projects. We received nearly 40 responses from energy companies all over the country, including some from Europe and Canada. In general, there was a lot of fascination with what we are doing. We had some companies who said they never respond to RFIs, but thought that what we were doing was so unique that they had to weigh in, therefore submitting a response,” said County Director of Sustainability Mike Foley. “I am really excited that this next stage is here, and that we will be hiring utility professionals to manage the build-out of microgrid strategy.”

The RFI will be open until 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022. The RFQ can be viewed on the County’s Purchasing Department website.