New York is giving 83 communities about $100,000 each to support microgrid projects, the office of Gov Andrew Cuomo said. The grants are from the NY Prize microgrid competition, which NYSERDA manages, his office said.
The communities will study the feasibility of installing a standalone energy system that can run independently of the utility grid in the event of a power outage. "Such systems would integrate renewable power with other advanced energy technologies to create a cleaner, more affordable and more resilient localized energy grid for a limited number of users," Cuomo's office said.
Beyond energy independence during a power outage, microgrids can benefit utilities on days of high power demand by cutting energy drawn from the main grid and providing added power when needed, the office added. Executives from National Grid and Con Edison vowed to support teams in their service areas in the feasibility phase of the project.
Award recipients include local governments, community organizations, non-profits, for-profits and municipal utilities. All winning projects have to be integrated into utility networks and serve multiple customers, including at least one "critical infrastructure" customer, such as a hospital, police station, fire station or water treatment facilities.
Five communities receiving awards Buffalo, Westfield, Bath, Sherburne and East Hampton were previously announced. More awards from the competition are reportedly planned for the future.
Over the next eight months, winners will assess the technical, operational and financial feasibility of their proposed community microgrid, Cuomo's office said. These studies will uncover the most favorable technical configurations as well as immediate opportunities for energy efficiency and distributed energy resources (DERs).
Once the studies are completed, communities can compete for further support from NY Prize or pursue the DER opportunities uncovered in their feasibility study.
The second stage of the competition will provide detailed engineering support and the final stage of funding will support project construction, the office said.
Source: Smart Grid Today
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