$18m designated for Connecticut microgrids

Nine communities in the US state of Connecticut will share $18m as part of a microgrid project designed to maintain critical buildings during electric grid outages often caused by severe weather.

The town of Woodbridge, New Haven is one community to take part and will receive $3m to create a microgrid using a 1.6 megawatt natural gas-powered turbine and a 400-kilowatt fuel cell that will be used to keep power on for the community’s police and fire stations, Department of Public Works, Town Hall and Amity Regional High School during electric outages. Microgrids function like small versions of state and regional power grids, but would only operate when power is lost.

Connecticut town

One other project receiving funding is a microgrid for the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, which will get $3m for a 5 MW cogeneration turbine and for a 1.5 megawatt diesel turbine.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced the awards as part of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Microgrid Pilot Program, which is designed to develop innovative ways to keep critical buildings powered during electric grid outages.

“These projects will help protect residents and vital public services even when the power goes out, and in doing so allow us to provide critical services during times of emergency.

“Over the next two years, I’ve recommended an additional $30m in funding for the state’s microgrid program to strengthen more Connecticut communities.”

The nine projects awarded the funding include microgrids for municipal buildings as well as to power parts of college campuses at Wesleyan University, the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford.

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