New York Earmarks $40 Million for Ten Microgrid Projects

Vice President Joe Biden recently joined New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for the unveiling of “Reimagining New York for a New Reality,” a $17 billion strategy that is intended to transform New York’s infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to better protect New Yorkers from future extreme weather.

“The new reality in New York is we are getting hit by 100 year storms every couple of years. We have to wake up to that new reality by completely reimagining our state to be ready for any future disaster,” said Governor Cuomo. “Our plan completely transforms the way we build and protect our infrastructure, safeguard our energy supply, prepare our citizens and first responders, and provide fuel and electricity.”

The State is using its share of federal funds appropriated for Sandy, Irene and Lee (along with state funds) to implement the far-reaching program, which includes an innovative program to create at least ten microgrids (independent community-based electric distributions systems) statewide, the State will launch NY Prize, a $40 million competition, to help build community-scale power grids for areas with approximately 40,000 residents. 

According to the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, the community-based microgrid approach is an innovative way to address a number of challenges and new developments facing New York’s electrical infrastructure. Ultimately, it can be the means to increase reliability and give local communities more control of their energy systems while also allowing for the adoption of clean and efficient distributed energy sources such as solar or combined heat and power. It can also be the conduit for integration of an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which has been another priority of the Cuomo Administration.

Kevin Law, President and CEO of Long Island Association, said, “The Governor’s plan is propelling New York’s storm preparation into the 21st century. By investing funds into the expansion of the FUEL NY program and the hardening of our existing electrical grid, he is taking smart, necessary steps to ensure that New York has a reliable and stable energy network that can hold up during the next storm. In addition, the creation of ten microgrids that can operate independently of our normal grid will serve as a reinforcement in communities that have no power. I commend the Governor on these bold, creative ideas that will undoubtedly make a difference in communities throughout New York.” 

Source: Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo