Thanks to the second stage of the NY Prize Community Microgrid competition 11 microgrid projects will receive $1 million in funding from the NY Green Bank. The funds, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will support engineering plans and business designs for the projects as they advance to a third stage of the competition to fund their construction.
"It's critical that communities across New York have reliable power to provide vital services when they are needed the most," Cuomo said. "These awards will help local government modernize and harden their power infrastructure, as well as join this administration’s fight against climate change, and create a cleaner, greener, Empire State for all." s
Microgrids, which are used by some local institutes like colleges or hospital or business campuses, are seeing a lot of interest in other applications. They allow a local area to produce, store and use power locally and interconnect to the larger electric grid. If the power on the larger grid goes out, they can still operate, providing critical electricity where and when it’s needed most. They can also integrate higher levels of rooftop solar—particularly when they include energy storage, all of which help them cut emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants.
"Microgrids are a key source of power for homes, businesses, hospitals and other vital facilities during weather events and other power outage emergencies. They are vital to our clean energy future,” asserted New York Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones. “We need communities with creative local energy solutions—like these innovative microgrids—to partner with us in creating the energy system of today and tomorrow. These microgrid grant funds enable us as a state to move another step closer to our reliable, renewable energy goals."
While community microgrids are starting to gain some popularity, they’re still not familiar to major financiers like banks, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which is administering the NY Prize. As such, it’s providing funding through the state’s green energy bank to help these early projects get off the ground. It awarded more than $8 million for the first stage of the competition to 83 communities (out of nearly 150 applicants) to the competition. In the second stage it winnowed that down to 11 projects. In the third stage, the NY Green Bank could invest up to $50 million in financing per project. The agency said it planned to announce the winners of the third round by the end of 2018.
“NY Prize enables innovative clean energy business models developed by local communities that can be replicated across New York State, providing New Yorkers with more choice in how they get their energy while safeguarding their communities from extreme weather events,” said New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman.Tweet