DOE Awards $8M for Microgrid Projects

September 9, 2014 By Karen Henry

electricity-energy-manageThe US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $8 million for microgrid projects to help cities and towns better prepare for extreme weather events and other potential electricity disruptions. The projects will bring together communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced microgrid controllers and system designs for microgrids less than 10 MW. Each project includes a company cost share ranging from 20 percent to about 50 percent.

DOE announced awards for the following seven projects:

  • ALSTOM Grid will research and design community microgrid systems for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Philadelphia Water Department, using portions of the former Philadelphia Navy Yard as a test bed.
  • Burr Energy will design and build a resilient microgrid to allow the Olney, Md., Town Center to function normally as a “lights-on” district for weeks in the event of a regional outage. A second microgrid will be designed for multi-use commercial development in nearby Prince George’s County.
  • Commonwealth Edison will develop and test a commercial-grade microgrid controller capable of controlling a system of two or more interconnected microgrids. The project includes a mix of facilities and critical loads, including police and fire department headquarters, major transportation infrastructure, healthcare facilities for seniors and private residences.
  • The Electric Power Research Institute will develop a commercially viable standardized microgrid controller that can allow a community to provide continuous power for critical loads.
  • GE Global Research will develop an enhanced microgrid control system by adding new capabilities, such as frequency regulation. This system will be used to provide resilient, high-quality power to critical loads in Potsdam, N.Y., including emergency service providers, utilities and other essential services, during power disruptions.
  • TDX power will engineer, design, simulate and build a microgrid control system on Saint Paul Island, located in the Bering Sea. The system will incorporate a wide range of energy resources in grid-connected and islanded modes to support the island utility’s existing generation facilities.
  • The University of California, Irvine will develop and test a generic microgrid controller intended to be readily adapted to manage a range of microgrid systems. This project is expected to pave the way for the development of open source industry standards.

Each award is for approximately $1.2 million.

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