Connecticut plans statewide microgrid program

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Connecticut is planning nine microgrid projects in the towns of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Groton, Hartford, Middletown, Storrs, Windham, and Woodbridge. The cities will receive a total of $18 million in funding primarily through the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

The program is designed to develop new ways to keep critical buildings powered during electric grid outages.

"Microgrids play a major role in our efforts to modernize and harden our infrastructure to withstand severe weather," said Gov. Dannel Malloy. "These projects will help protect residents and vital public services even when the power goes out, and in doing so allow us to provide critical services during times of emergency. 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."

Passed under Gov. Malloy's storm bill (Public Act 12-148), the Microgrid Pilot Program will increase safety and quality of life for Connecticut residents during power outages, according to the governor's office. 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.

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 photovoltaic 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 and not through DEEP.

Hartford: the University of Hartford campus and St. Francis Hospital--$2.27 million for two 1.9 MW diesel (existing), 250 kW diesel, 150 kW diesel. Hartford is also receiving a grant for the 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 energy storage; 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.

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