Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced awards of some $100,000 each will be given to 83 communities across the state to support innovative microgrid projects. These awards were granted as part of the NY Prize microgrid competition to support a new generation of community-based power under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy.
The 83 communities will study the feasibility of installing a community microgrid — a standalone energy system that can operate independently of the main 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.
Announced by Governor Cuomo last August and administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the NY Prize microgrid competition generated unprecedented interest from communities across the state, with more than 130 cities, villages, towns and municipalities submitting proposals for the competition’s Stage 1 awards announced today. In addition to offering energy independence during a power outage, microgrids can benefit utilities on days of high power demand by reducing energy drawn from the main grid and providing additional power when needed.
Award recipients include local governments, community organizations, non-profit entities, for-profit companies and municipally-owned utilities. All winning projects must 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.
Awards represent all 10 regions of the State, including:
· Capital Region: 9 projects/awards
· Central New York: 4 projects/awards
· Finger Lakes: 3 projects/awards
· Mid-Hudson: 23 projects/awards
· Long Island: 14 projects/awards
· Mohawk Valley: 2 projects/awards
· New York City: 9 projects/awards
· North Country: 7 projects/awards
· Southern Tier: 7 projects/awards
· Western New York: 5 projects/awards
Project descriptions and contact information for winners are featured on the NY Prize Opportunity Zone Map. Five communities receiving awards — Buffalo, Westfield, Bath, Sherburne and East Hampton — were announced previously.
Over the next six to eight months, winners will assess the technical, operational and financial feasibility of their proposed community microgrid. These studies will uncover the most favorable technical configurations, as well as immediate opportunities for energy efficiency and distributed energy installations. Once the studies are completed, communities can compete for further support from NY Prize or pursue the distributed energy resource opportunities uncovered in their feasibility study.
The 83 communities receiving support for feasibility studies may choose to apply for detailed engineering support in Stage 2 of the competition. NYSERDA will also work with third parties and the State’s utilities to provide access to existing clean energy programs and services for communities that do not receive NY Prize support. In Stage 3, the final competition stage, NY Prize funding will be made available for project construction; both Stage 2 and 3 will involve a cost-share.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, New York State is spurring clean energy innovation and attracting new investment to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Reforming the Energy Vision encompasses groundbreaking regulatory reform to integrate clean energy into the core of our power grid, redesigned programs and strategies to unlock private capital, and active leadership in deploying innovative energy solutions across the State’s own public facilities and operations. Reforming the Energy Vision will enable a dynamic, clean energy economy operating at a scale that will stimulate opportunities for communities across the state to create jobs and drive local economic growth, while protecting our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Successful initiatives already launched as part of Reforming the Energy Vision include NY Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities.
To learn more about Reforming the Energy Vision, please visit http://www.ny.gov/programs/reforming-energy-vision