New advanced microgrid to help Daughters of Mary keep the lights on

This week Schneider Electric and non-profit Citizens Energy Corporation announced the start of construction of their first joint resiliency project to deploy an advanced microgrid to serve four critical facilities on the campus of The Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception in New Britain, Connecticut.

The microgrid will help ensure more reliable and efficient power and improve resiliency for Daughters of Mary facilities following major storms and other natural disasters, enabling uninterrupted electric services to critical infrastructure during emergencies, said Schneider.

The microgrid will be able to operate in “island mode,” which allows the necessary facilities to intentionally, or automatically, separate from the electric grid and continue to operate at, or near, normal capacity for extended periods during power outages.

Schneider Electric said the microgrid will include technologies to enable predictive management and optimization of energy use during grid connected and island modes, fostering financial and environmental sustainability driven by an existing solar array and battery.

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Citizens Energy Corporation is funding and developing the microgrid using the Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) business model allowing construction to be completed without any up-front costs to the Daughters of Mary. Separate power purchase agreements help pay for the microgrid through lower cost, clean energy generation. The Project was also awarded a State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Microgrid Design & Installation Grant for Critical Facilities that will help offset the overall project costs.

“Schneider Electric is looking forward to working with Citizens Energy on the deployment of the microgrid not only to address the needs of the Daughters of Mary facilities, but in the many future projects that follow”, said Mark Feasel, Schneider Electric’s North American President for Smart Grid.  “We appreciate Citizens Energy’s vision, passion and the trust they have put in us as their microgrid technology partner.”

Citizens Energy Corporation will complete the advanced microgrid, including power system upgrades and advanced controls as well as provide significant utility cost savings. 

“We are excited to work with Schneider Electric and applaud the vision of the Daughters of Mary to solve their resiliency and energy needs,” said Citizens Energy CEO Pete Smith. “This is our first microgrid project, but it fits remarkably well with our mission to provide much-needed energy assistance to low-income families and those in need.”

ather than the customer purchasing the microgrid system outright, Citizens Energy is able to develop, finance, own, operate and maintain the system. Meanwhile, the customer, in this case the Daughters of Mary, purchases the electricity and pays for the system via an Energy Service Agreement with no upfront or operating costs.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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