U.S. Department of Energy Launches Microgrid Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy recently launched the Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge, a competition to support resiliency and adaptation in communities across America. The Challenge is intended to recognize local organizations that have adopted successful grid strategies which can continue providing vital public services during power disruptions caused by severe weather and other events.

The Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge is designed to encourage organizations with operational microgrids, such as hospitals and water treatment plants, to submit their microgrid designs and operational data – such as when and how long the system was disconnected from the traditional grid. The data will help the Department learn more about microgrid performance and capture practical information that can be shared about how these systems are being used to make communities more resilient. Entries will be judged according to four criteria: resiliency, clean energy system, efficiency, and cost effectiveness.

“With economic and personal losses from electricity outages due to severe weather becoming greater each year, building in resiliency has assumed an even greater degree of urgency,” said Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. “This competition will help us gain a better understanding of benefits and lessons learned on how microgrids can further enhance resiliency of the nation’s grid and promote a cleaner and more efficient, cost-effective power system.”

The Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge builds on efforts by the Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to harness innovation in energy infrastructure and help communities become more resilient to future events. The Energy Department anticipates making one $100,000 award in each of the following six categories:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Emergency shelters, including housing and schools
  • Municipal facilities, including police stations, fire stations, and water treatment plants
  • Commercial facilities, including financial centers
  • Industrial facilities and activities, such as transportation and critical manufacturing
  • Other government facilities

The deadline for applying is August 29, 2014. More information about the Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge is available at http://www.energy.gov/microgridchallenge.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy