Electric Grid

Oakland EcoBlock

The EcoBlock concept recognizes the block as a common unit of organization in urban and suburban America – in fact, most cities in the world. Blocks come in different sizes and shapes, but the basic block structure appears in all places with moderate to high population density. The EcoBlock aims to harness that structure to make clean technology more affordable.

  • Sascha von Meier
    Principal Investigator, CIEE
  • Therese Peffer
    Project Manager, CIEE
  • Daniel Kammen
    Co-Principal Investigator, ERG/RAEL/UC Berkeley
  • Harrison Fraker
    Senior Advisor, ERG/UCB
  • Tim Lipman
    Transportation Team Lead, UCB
  • Rich Brown
    Energy Team Co-Lead, LBNL
  • Nick Clarke
    ERG/UCB, Graduate Student Research Assistant & McQuown Fellow

The EcoBlock hypothesis is that the most cost-effective way to drive zero-carbon energy, deep water conservation and resilient urban systems is by addressing components together, on the block-neighborhood-district scale.

The EcoBlock concept was motivated by urgent societal questions and California legal mandates related to climate change and urban vulnerability:
• How can we implement deep decarbonization in the most timely manner, without having to re-build a majority of housing and infrastructure?
• Specifically, how can we best reduce the resource use and carbon footprint of buildings and vehicles?
• How can essential services be provided to residents when the electric grid is disrupted?
• How can such a major transition unfold in a modular, affordable way that includes all communities?

EcoBlock Vision:

A Multi-Customer Microgrid Solution Electrical system will combine Distributed Energy Resources (DER):
•  Communal rooftop solar PV
•  Communal energy storage system (flywheel and/or battery)
•  Intelligent loads and electric demand response
•  Shared Electric vehicle (EV) charging
•  Smart controls in a direct-current (DC) microgrid infrastructure behind a single interconnection with the utility.

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