City Council to consider $5.72M for clean energy infrastructure

Published on December 27, 2021


In January 2021, the City Council approved a number of sustainable project enhancements as part of Meta’s (formerly Facebook) generous offer to build a new community center in the Belle Haven neighborhood known as the Menlo Park Community Campus

The city agreed to use its own funds for additional sustainable project enhancements to demonstrate leadership on the city’s 2030 Climate Action Plan.

This included incorporating a renewable microgrid that would generate clean onsite solar electricity for the facility during the day and store extra solar energy in a battery for evening/nighttime energy needs, saving on operational costs over the life of the project (20-30 years).

Another key objective of the renewable microgrid is to increase energy resilience by using clean power to operate the facility in an emergency. Typically, diesel generators are used for backup power, but this facility will rely on batteries to provide backup power, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, the new pool will be heated with clean electricity instead of natural gas (a fossil fuel), and solar thermal piping will be placed underneath the solar panels to provide extra efficiency and heating for the pool water.

The project also includes installing 27 EV charging spaces in a neighborhood where less than 3% of tenants living on multiunit properties (e.g., apartments) have access to charging at or near their home.

At its Jan. 11, 2022, meeting, the City Council will consider awarding a contract to ENGIE US Services Inc., during a public hearing before moving forward with designing and building the project. The City Council agenda and public hearing staff report are available for public review in advance of the meeting.

Contact Sustainability Manager Rebecca Lucky for questions or comments on this item.