In September 2022, members of the Redwood CORE Hub joined key community and philanthropic partners for a three day tour of the Pacific Redwoods Region to learn about the ecology, history, climate, and resilience of the area. The following is a recap of some of the highlights from the tour.
Speakers: Arne Jacobson, Executive Director; Maia Cheli, Communications and Outreach Manager
We concluded our learning tour at the Schatz Energy Research Center. The Schatz Center is a space for hands-on work and learning related to engineering, robotics, instrument calibration, and more. It features an emission shop, an electronic shop, and a courtyard that allows students to craft and test their work.
The Center’s work began in the 90s with hydrogen transportation and fuel cells, which continues now through their work with the Humboldt Transit Authority to transition their fleet to zero emissions through $40 million of funding for 11 buses and a transit center. The Center also heavily focuses on substation microgrid development and how it may assist with offshore wind and transmission upgrades, while also taking into consideration the concerns to make sure that the process is not an extractive practice.
On the Cal Poly campus, projects of the Schatz Center include development of a campus housing a microgrid simulator lab to test microgrid components and run simulations, providing engineering students with valuable workforce experience. Additionally, the Center is assisting Cal Poly Humboldt in developing a microgrid to power the campus.
With the transition into a Polytechnic, there has also been an increase in funding to the university for engineering and offshore wind marine research. This includes development of a learning and research marine facility in Eureka, upgrading the existing boat fleet and adding an additional smaller marine vessel, and upgrades to the Telonicher Marine Laboratory in Trinidad, CA.
Current partnerships include engagement with the Pacific Offshore Wind Energy Lab and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which allow for these two entities to engage with research and students without being directly in the area. The Schatz Center is currently also in discussion with a potential Washington D.C. based nonprofit partner to identify funding to create a training facility in Africa or southeast Asia, where the Center is involved with creating independent power systems in very rural and remote areas.