Connecticut leads the way with microgrids


Governor Dannel
P. Malloy
Hartford, CT, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 15, 2013 – The state of Connecticut seems to be pioneering microgrids in the United States, with a recent award of $18 million in funding, primarily through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Microgrid Pilot Program, for nine projects – and an additional prospective $30 million to come.

The program is designed to develop innovative ways to keep critical buildings powered during electric grid outages. Microgrids will provide electricity to critical facilities and town centers on a 24/7 basis and will include an isolation system so the microgrid can provide power despite any large scale outages.
“Microgrids play a major role in our efforts to modernize and harden our infrastructure to withstand severe weather,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy, adding: “Over the next two years, I’ve recommended an additional $30 million in funding for the state’s microgrid program to strengthen more Connecticut communities.”
The projects will provide power for government services and businesses that are critical during extreme weather events such as police, fire, and emergency response teams, hospitals and health care facilities, state and town emergency response centers, grocery stores, and gas stations.
The nine projects receiving funding are:

  • Bridgeport: City hall, police station, and senior center – $2.97 million for three 600 kW natural gas microturbines.
  • Fairfield: Town of Fairfield police station, emergency operations center, cell tower, fire headquarters, public shelter – $1.16 million for 50 kW natural gas reciprocating engine, 250 kW natural gas reciprocating engine, 47 kW PV solar.
  • Groton: Naval Submarine Base – $3 million for 5 MW cogeneration turbine, 1.5 MW diesel. (Since the base is a federal entity, this funding comes through the State Department of Economic and Community Development, not through DEEP.)
  • Hartford:  University of Hartford campus and St. Francis Hospital – $2.27 million for two 1.9 MW diesel (existing), 250 kW diesel, 150 kW diesel; and Parkville Cluster school, senior center, library, supermarket, gas station – $2.06 million for 600 kW natural gas turbine.
  • Middletown: Wesleyan University campus and athletic center (public shelter) – $694,000 for 2.4 MW and 676 kW Natural gas combined heat and power reciprocating engine.
  • Storrs: University of Connecticut Depot Campus – $2.14 million for 400 kW fuel cell, 6.6 kW PV solar.
  • Windham: Two schools – $639,950 for two 130 kW natural gas, 250 kW solar, 200 kWh battery; two kW diesel.
  • Woodbridge: Police station, fire station, Department of Public Works, town hall, high school – $3 million for 1.6 MW natural gas turbine, 400 kW fuel cell.

These projects were among 36 originally submitted in response to a request for microgrid concepts. These were subject to a feasibility analysis by DEEP, in coordination with an expert technical consultant and the state’s two major electric utilities.

The Microgrid Pilot Program was established under Governor Malloy’s storm bill (Public Act 12-148), which was passed last June, in the wake of Hurricane Irene of the previous year, to standardize emergency preparedness for natural disasters and intense weather events.